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Full text of "Newtown's bicentennial, an account of the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the purchase from the Indians of the land of the town of Newtown, Connecticut, held August fifth, nineteen hundred and five"

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. 3 

ITB5 1905 







Copyright, 1906 






The Preparation 9 

The General Committee 12 

The Executive Committee 12 

The Finance Committee 13 

The Entertainment Committee 14 

The Historical Committee 14 

The Invitation Committee 15 

. The Music Committee 16 

The Parade Committee 16 

The Committee on Decorations 16 

The Committee on Colonial Ball 17 

The Committee on Fireworks 18 

The Celebration 18 

The Governor's Arrival 19 

The Colonial Ball 19 

The Anniversary Day 21 

The Parade 21 

The Exercises at the Fair Grounds 22 

Prayer by Rev. P. Fox 24 

Address of Welcome, by Rev. O. W. Barker 26 

Address on The Colony, by Rev. Samuel Hart, D.D. . . 33 
Address on Pioneer Life in Newtown to the Close of 

the Revolution, by Mr. E. L. Johnson 40 

The Intermission, and Luncheon 108 

The Poem, "The Old Home Coming" by Rev. O. O. 


Address, by His Excellency Henry Roberts, Governor 

of Connecticut 116 

Address by Hon. D. N. Morgan 123 

Address by W. C. Wile, M.D 129 

Address by Hon. Charles H. Briscoe 133 

Address by Mr. Frederick P. Marble 135 

Address by Prof. Geo. E. Beers 139 

Address by Rear Admiral Franklin C. Prindle, U. S. N. 145 

^^ ti ^-. Address by Mr. Edward C. Beecher^^. 147 

Benediction by Rev. Arthur T. Parsons 148 

The Historical Exhibit 149 

The Band Concert and Fireworks 150 


The Services in the Congregational Church 152 

Sermon by Rev. O. W. Barker on "New England Leaven". . 153 

The Services in Trinity Church 165 

Sermon by Rev. J. H. George on "The Transplanted Vine" 166 




Newtown Street, from the North end Frontispiece 

Newtown Street, looking North from the Liberty Pole 85 

Newtown Street, looking South from the Liberty Pole 87 

The John Beach Memorial Library 53 

The Congregational Church 152 

Trinity Church 164 

St. Rose's Church 90 

St. John's Church, Sandy Hook 67 

The Methodist Church, Sandy Hook 80 

Newtown High School 72 



Hon. Henry Roberts, Governor of Connecticut ................ 116 

. Samuel Hart, D.D ...................................... 33 

Mr. Ezra Levan Johnson ..................................... 40 

Rev. James Hardin George ................................... 21 

Rev. Otis W. Barker ......................................... 26 

Rev. Patrick Fox ............................................. 24 

Rev. Otis Olney Wright ..................................... in 

Hon. Charles H. Briscoe ..................................... 133 

Hon. Daniel N. Morgan ..................................... 123 

Dr. William C. Wile ......................................... 129 

Mr. Frederick P. Marble ..................................... 135 

Prof. George E. Beers ....................................... 139 

Rear Admiral Franklin C. Prindle ............................ 145 

Hon. Michael J. Houlihan .................................... 10 



Mr. Robert H. Beers 17 

Mr. Patrick H. McCarthy 19 

Mr. Allison P. Smith 9 

Mr. Levi C. Morris 13 

Mr. Charles F. Beardsley 109 

Mr. Daniel G. Beers 149 

Mr. Charles S. Platt 14 

Mr. Charles G. Peck 22 

Mr. William A. Leonard 150 


In searching the records of the past one is often struck 
with the fact that his task would have been very much 
simplified, had those who went before him taken more pains 
to give in some detail the occurrences which were of general 
interest in the community at the time and of special value 
to those who should follow. 

That those who may follow us need be at no loss to learn 
the particulars of an occasion of special interest to all 
connected with the town, this book has been compiled. 

Because this book in giving an account of an historic 
occasion embodies addresses which concern the early days 
of the town, it should be doubly valuable. 

With these objects in view, to preserve the early history 
of the town compiled with so much labor, and that succeed- 
ing generations might know what the people of to-day 
thought of its early history, and how they celebrated its 
beginnings, the Executive Committee of the Bicentennial 
appointed the undersigned to gather the addresses and the 
facts of the celebration and to publish them in book form. 

The work has had the general supervision of all the 
members of the committee. In the division of the labor, 
Mr. Johnson has had charge of the addresses. Mr. George 
has written the story, with the exception of the account 
of the Colonial Ball and the Parade. This with the 
illustrations has been the care of Mr. Smith. 

That this task should have been committed to us was 
probably due to the sentiment contained in the old adage, 
"if you want to get anything done, get a busy man to do it." 
In the midst of many cares this work has been done with 
no expectation of reward save that of having served the 
interests of the town. A limited edition is published and 
the price of the book has been placed so as to cover the cost 
of the typographical work. 

The book lays no claim to special literary merit. We 
shall be satisfied if it answers its purpose of preserving 
facts which were of interest to those now living and which 
will be valued by those who in the future may study the 
history of Newtown. 



Editor of the Newtown Bee, 

Member of the Bicentennial Executive Committee. 


Any story of the Celebration of the Two Hundredth 
Anniversary of the Purchase of the Land of the Town of 
Newtown from the Indians would be incomplete without 
some account of the preparations which in the months pre- 
vious were made and which laid the foundation for its 

It was in the Men's Literary and Social Club of Newtown 
that the first movement was made. The character of this 
club is described by its name. It is composed of about 
twenty gentlemen, who meet once a month, with one of their 
number as host, and under the leadership of another mem- 
ber, who has charge of the literary programme, discuss 
some subject of interest. These subjects are not wholly 
of the books or events of the past; but often matters of 
present interest, and frequently those of local concern. 
From the Club have originated a number of movements 
of interest to the community and some public improvements. 

It was at the suggestion of Mr. Ezra Levan Johnson, 
one of its members, that the Club took the initiative in 
bringing before the community the propriety of marking 
the bicentennial of this first event in the history of our town. 
Comparatively few knew of this purchase or realized its 
great importance, as it preceded by some years the incor- 
poration of the town by the Legislature, and the later date 
was generally set down as the beginning of the town's 
history. Mr. Johnson, however, has always taken a great 
interest in the history of the town, its legends and landmarks, 
the graves of its noted inhabitants, and its old records. 
His age makes him familiar with many traditions of the 

older generation, and in his younger days he had seen the 
original deed from the Indians, which now unfortunately 
cannot be found. The deed was recorded, however, and 
properly attested in the first volume of the town's records. 
This book contains a mass of other matters of less import- 
ance and not recorded in chronological order, and being 
devoid of an index, it required some time to search it out. 
In a letter written while he was in California in the winter of 
1903-4, he called attention to the approaching anniversary, 
and again in person brought it to the attention of the Club 
at its first meeting in the fall of the year 1904. 

A committee was appointed to consider the practicability 
of a celebration, and it was finally decided that a call for 
a public meeting to take up the matter should be issued. 
It was not the intention of the Club to direct or control 
the celebration ; but having called the attention of the 
community to the anniversary, to leave it to such meeting 
to appoint suitable committees to have it in charge, the 
members doing all in their power as individuals to further it. 

A call was accordingly published in the issue of the 
Newtown Bee of December 8th for a meeting at the 
Newtown Academy, now occupied by the High School, on 
Monday evening, December I2th. This place was chosen 
as being centrally located between the villages of Newtown 
and Sandy Hook, and equally convenient to all. A severe 
snow storm prevented a meeting of more than three or four, 
and it was adjourned to January i6th at the same place. 

At this meeting Mr. Johnson made an address, giving 
the historical facts, and it was resolved to hold a celebration, 
and a permanent organization was effected by the choice of 
Mr. E. L. Johnson as Chairman, and Hon. M. J. Houlihan as 
Secretary. At an adjourned meeting held January 23d 
at the same place, Mr. Houlihan was chosen Treasurer, and 
a committee to nominate a general committee to have charge 
of the celebration was appointed. This committee consisted 


Town Clerk, 
Secretary and Treasurer of the Bicentennial Executive Committee. 


of Messrs. E. L. Johnson, M. J. Houlihan, R. H. Beers, 
P. H. McCarthy, Rev. O. W. Barker, Rev. J. H. George, and 
George F. Taylor. 

At this meeting the subject of publishing a new map of 
the town was brought up, and Mr. D. G. Beers, Rev. J. H. 
George, and Prof. Ross Jewell were appointed a committee 
to report on the practicability of the scheme. As it was 
found that the making and publishing of such a map might 
involve some financial risk, the whole matter was ultimately 
turned over to ten gentlemen interested in the subject and 
willing to be responsible for it as a committee, with the 
understanding that it should in no way be an expense to the 
general committee, and that, if there were any profit from 
it, it should go to the expenses of the celebration. This 
committee consisted of Messrs. D. G. Beers, Ross Jewell, 
J. H. George, A. P. Smith, R. H. Beers, S. P. Glover, M. J. 
Houlihan, O. W. Barker, C. B. Taylor, and W. A. Leonard. 

The committee employed Mr. Daniel G. Beers to make a 
map similar to the old map made in 1854, on a scale of 2^2 
inches to a mile, and maps of the villages on a larger scale, 
showing the names of all persons to whom the various 
houses belonged. The committee employed Prof. Ross 
Jewell to take the photographs of the public buildings, and 
of factories and private residences which were placed about 
the map, and also to canvass for its sale. The Bicentennial 
map was a great success. Financially it added to the 
treasury of the Executive Committee $275. As an historical 
monument it forms an enduring record of the layout of the 
roads, the position of public and private buildings, and the 
owners of real estate at the bicentennial of the town. 

At this meeting Messrs. E. L. Johnson, M. J. Houlihan, 
and John J. Northrop, one of the town's representatives in 
the Legislature, were appointed a committee to invite 
His Excellency, Governor Henry Roberts, to attend the 


The Nominating Committee met and named a committee 
of fifty persons as a General Committee to have charge of 
the celebration, and reported to a public meeting of the 
citizens held at the ''Brick Building," so called, where the 
town records are kept, on Monday evening, March 6th. 
The nominations were endorsed by the meeting. The 
names of the gentlemen constituting this Committee follow : 

E. L. Johnson, M. J. Houlihan, R. H. Beers, P. H. Mc- 
Carthy, Rev. O. W. Barker, Rev. J. H. George, Geo. F. 
Taylor, Rev. P. Fox, Rev. O. O. Wright, Frank Wright, 
Smith P. Glover, William B. Sniffen, Daniel G. Beers, 
Charles S. Platt, Eli B. Beers, Charles E. Beers, C. B. 
Taylor, Walter S. Bradley, David C. Peck, S. A. Blackman, 
Charles G. Morris, C. D. Stillson, Henry G. Curtis, Theron 
E. Platt, A. B. Blakeman, P. C. Crowe, Edward W. Troy, 
John J. Northrop, M. F. Houlihan, Charles H. Northrop, 
William J. Beecher, William A. Leonard, Levi C. Morris, 
Thomas J. Bradley, George F. Duncombe, Robert A. Clark, 
Edgar C. Page, Thomas J. Corbett, John B. Wheeler, 
Edward Taylor, Ralph N. Betts, Allison P. Smith, Philo 
Nichols, Amos T. Camp, Minott Augur, Albert W. Peck, 
William E. Hawley, William N. Northrop, J. B. Fairchild, 
Norman Northrop. 

This Committee chose an Executive Committee to have 
entire charge of the celebration, as follows : 



MICHAEL J. HOULIHAN, Secretary and Treasurer. 




A rather full account has been given of these preliminary 
meetings showing the early stages of the movement, not 

Chairman of the Finance Committee. 

less to indicate the entirely free and open manner of its 
organization than to give an encouragement to those who 
in the future may have in hand such an undertaking. It 
was found that, though no great general interest character- 
ized its early stages, the public grew up to a thorough 
appreciation of its importance as it progressed, and to 
enthusiasm when the work culminated in the Celebration. 

The work of the Executive Committee now began, and for 
the next five months meetings were held on an average of 
once a week to perfect the plans for carrying out the cele- 

An important part of their duty lay in dividing up the 
work and appointing capable sub-committees to carry it 
into effect. 

The financial problem was one of the most important, 
and for this they selected gentlemen partly with reference 
to their ability to collect funds and partly with reference to 
locality, that all parts of the town might be represented. 
Following is 

LEVI C. MORRIS, Chairman, 







By a canvass of the town and from unsolicited sub- 
scriptions from former residents about $700 was raised, 
giving the Executive Committee funds with which to carry 
on the work in a suitable manner. 


Next in importance was the problem of feeding the large 
numbers who would be expected on such an occasion. The 
suggestion that the affair should be of a picnic character, 
those coming to bring a basket lunch, was soon dismissed 
as not in accord with the known hospitality of the people of 
the town. How to feed a large multitude estimated to run 
up into the thousands was a problem involving many 
practical difficulties ; but it was thought capable of solution 
under good generalship. Following are the names of the 
gentlemen who constituted what was called 




Under Mr. Beardsley's energetic leadership the town 
was thoroughly canvassed and preparations made to feed 
4,000 people. 

An historical occasion called for a collection and exhibi- 
tion of relics of the old days, and the following were chosen 

DANIEL G. BEERS, Chairman, 



These were all possessors of valuable relics, and with 
knowledge of others to make visible to this generation the 
customs and manner of life of the early settlers of the town. 
As the most suitable persons to trace out former residents 
and others interested in the town's history the following 
were chosen : 

Chairman of the Music Committee. 

T __ 

E. L. JOHNSON, Chairman, 



It was not the purpose of the committee to send personal 
invitations to the present residents, as they were to be the 
hosts on this occasion; nor to the residents of near-by 
towns, as a general invitation would reach them through the 
press ; but only to invite former residents living at a distance 
and such men of distinction living in the state as would 
naturally be interested in the celebration. 

As time went by, the particulars of the celebration itself 
developed in the minds of the Executive Committee. The 
chief feature, of course, should be an historical address 
giving an account of the event commemorated and of the 
early days of the settlement. For the speaker it was evident 
that none was so well qualified as Mr. Ezra Levan Johnson, 
and he was accordingly chosen to deliver the principal 
historical address. 

That the early history of the town might have a proper 
introduction and foundation, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart, 
President of the Connecticut Historical Society, was 
requested to deliver an historical address on the Colony of 
which the first settlers of the town were a part. 

The Governor of the State, who had accepted the invita- 
tion to be present, was also requested to make an address; 
and a number of others, former residents or closely 
connected with the town, were invited to make short 

The next thing which grew out of the plan for a public 
meeting with addresses was the singing which should 
accompany them. The committee to have this matter in 
charge, to select suitable music, and gather and train a 
chorus was headed by the capable organist of Trinity church 

assisted by others skilled in music in other churches in the 

Following are the names of 




It seemed fitting that with the Governor and other distin- 
guished guests present, who would in any case be escorted 
to the place of assembling, there should be a parade through 
the two larger villages of the town preceding the exercises, 
and the following gentlemen were chosen 

CHARLES G. PECK, Chairman, 





That it was worked out to be a most important feature of 
the celebration was due to the interest of the Chairman and 
the diligent work of the other members of his committee. 
The most convenient place for holding the exercises was 
the grounds of the Newtown Agricultural Association, with 
its covered grand stand, and its buildings, which could be 
utilized for various purposes. The large space about the 
race track also offered abundant room for the vehicles of 
those who drove from a distance. The grounds were 
generously loaned for the occasion, and under the direction 
of Messrs. A. P. Smith, P. H. McCarthy, and Rev. O. O. 
Wright, a large stand for the speakers and the chorus was 
erected on the race track in front of the grand stand. 


Chairman of the Committee on Decorations, 
Member of the Bicentennial Executive Committee. 


To give the whole a festival appearance it was decided to 
have a decorator adorn the entrance and grand stand with 
bunting. This was done under the direction of Mr. R. H. 
Beers, a member of the Executive Committee. The 
illuminated sign over the entrance, "Newtown's Bicenten- 
nial," 1705-1905, was the work and gift of Mr. C. W. 
Canfield. The presence of the decorator and the beautiful 
effect of his work begun a few days before the celebration 
created a desire in private individuals to adorn their houses, 
and the contagion spread until all the dwellings in the village 
street, the places of business, the town buildings, and the 
John Beach Memorial Library, as well as all the buildings 
on the proposed line of march were decorated, all in excel- 
lent taste and some most elaborately. To give a final touch 
to the general decorations the Executive Committee had the 
decorator extend ropes from far up on the liberty pole, 
which stands at the crossing of the roads in the middle of 
the village, to the buildings at the four corners and also from 
corner to corner, forming a square, and these ropes filled 
with flags and streamers of various colors. 

The work of the Historical Committee in making an 
exhibit of old furniture, documents, and other relics of the 
past suggested the bringing out of old costumes in a 
Colonial ball the evening before the celebration. This was 
taken up not less heartily by the young people than by fheir 
elders and accordingly the following persons were appointed 
to make suitable preparations for this function as 






Finally, that the day might close in a blaze of glory and 
triumph the Executive Committee arranged for a band 
concert, and also appointed the following gentlemen as 






These were the principal sub-committees, which enabled 
the Executive Committee to carry out the plans for the 
celebration. Of the numerous committees of their own 
number appointed from time to time to attend to various 
matters it does not need here to speak. The work of these 
chief committees was constantly and regularly reported to 
the Executive Committee, which gave them all the help 
which they called for and encouraged them to go forward 
to make a success of each department which they repre- 

It was five months full of hard work, but most interesting, 
and brought the members of the Committee into most inti- 
mate and cordial relations. 


Chairman of Committee on Colonial Ball, 

Member of the Bicentennial Executive Committee. 


All arrangements had been perfected, and there was 
nothing to be desired but fine weather to make the cele- 
bration a success. From the beginning of the work of the 
Executive Committee the question had continually been 
raised as to what should be done in case of stormy weather. 
The more hopeful ones had claimed that there could not be 
any but fair weather on such an occasion, and the matter 
had been staved off from week to week ; but as the time drew 
near they yielded to making of plans for such an emergency, 
and Trinity Church was offered for the exercises, in such a 
contingency, the plan being in that case to have the luncheon 
in the large hall in the basement of the church. But Friday 
evening came with perfect summer weather and promise of 
a beautiful day to follow. 

His Excellency Governor Roberts came from New Haven 
on the train arriving at six o'clock, Friday evening, and was 
met by Mr. E. L. Johnson, Chairman of the Executive 
Committee, and Rev. James H. George, President of the day. 
As he rode up the hill he was greeted with a Governor's 
salute of seventeen guns, and was driven to the Grand 
Central Hotel, where he was met by the Executive Com- 
mittee. After a short drive through the Street to see the 
decorations he was taken to Trinity Rectory, where he was 
entertained during his stay in town. The Rectory, in 
addition to other decorations, had the Connecticut State 
flag flying over the door, to indicate the Governor's head- 
quarters. An informal dinner in his honor was served early 
in the evening, at which Rev. Dr. Hart, who was also a 


guest at the Rectory, Mr. E. L. Johnson, and Rev. J. 
Francis George, a friend of the Governor in college days, 
were present. 


The Bicentennial celebration was ushered in on Friday 
evening, August 4, by a Colonial ball at the Town Hall, 
the most elaborate function of its kind ever held in the 
history of the town. The interior of the town hall had been 
transformed into a vision of loveliness, the prevailing colors 
being light blue, yellow and white. The occasion was 
especially notable by the presence of His Excellency, Gover- 
nor Roberts, who entered the hall about 8 P. M., accompanied 
by Rev. J. H. George, president of the day, and friends. 
The Governor was given an ovation as he passed up to take 
his seat in the south alcove on the stage, which had been 
reserved for the executive committee, their wives and lady 
friends. The hall was crowded, the estimated attendance 
being not far from seven hundred. The grand march, led 
by Governor Henry Roberts and Mrs. Sarah Grace Glover, 
was a beautiful sight, about one hundred people being in 
costume. So attractive and handsome were all the costumes 
it would be invidious to mention names, but the ball from 
every standpoint was a success. The Philharmonic orches- 
tra of Bridgeport furnished music. During the early part 
of the ball Mrs. F. S. Andrews, who was in costume, sang 
"Queen Bess," with a number of voices assisting in the 
chorus. The committee who deserve the credit for the suc- 
cess of the ball were P. H. McCarthy, chairman; Mrs. 
Sarah Grace Glover, Mrs. C. S. Platt, Mrs. F. S. Andrews, 
Eli B. Beers, S. A. Blackman and Hanford C. Plumb. 


Rector of Trinity Church, 

President of the Day. 


August fifth was a perfect summer day, and as the sun 
showed his rim over the Zoar hills he was greeted with a 
salute of twenty-one guns and the ringing of the church 
bells. Every one was early astir, for there was much to be 
done to prepare for the first event of the day the parade. 


The Bicentennial parade, Saturday morning, August 5, 
was a notable success. The parade was artistic, attractive, 
and when the five hundred school children are considered, 
it was beautiful. The parade astonished and delighted the 
visitors, who had no idea of witnessing so spectacular and 
beautiful an exhibition. It certainly reflected marked credit 
on Charles G. Peck, the efficient chairman, and his hard 
working committee, every one of whom were heartily con- 
gratulated on all sides. 

All along the line of parade His Excellency, Governor 
Roberts, received a hearty greeting in hand-clapping and the 
waving of flags. This was especially noticeable at points 
in Sandy Hook, where numbers of young women were 
massed together, and in front of the Newtown Inn and 
Grand Central hotel, where his greeting was most enthu- 
siastic. Mr Peck received much praise for the fact that 
notwithstanding the parade left the Fair grounds thirteen 
minutes late, the grand stand was reached only five minutes 
behind the scheduled time. The Woodbury band, leading 
the parade, in their new suits, presented a handsome appear- 

ance, and rendered excellent music. They numbered twenty- 
one men. 

The forming of the parade took place on the Fair grounds 
and by 9.13 was ready for the start, going up as far as the 
watering tank, south through Queen street to the C. B. Sher- 
man place, west through Glover street to the four corners, 
up Main street to the North Center schoolhouse, counter- 
marching through the street to the depot road, down to 
Sandy Hook, through Dayton street, across Dayton street 
bridge, south to iron bridge, up Sandy Hook Main street 
to Depot street and back to the Fair grounds, arriving at 
the grand stand five minutes later than the scheduled time. 
The parade was led by the grand marshal, C. G. Peck, who 
presented a fine appearance on his trained horse, which kept 
step to the music, attracting attention all along the line. 
The marshal and his aides wore military cloaks loaned 
by P. L. Ronalds, giving them a striking appearance. 
The first division was made up of C. G. Peck and aides, 
on black horses, the Woodbury band, followed by hacks, 
the first carriage being occupied by Governor Roberts, E. 
L. Johnson, Rev. J. H. George and Hon. M. J. Houlihan. 
Others occupying seats in the carriages were : Rev. O. W. 
Barker, Robert H. Beers, Allison P. Smith and Patrick 
H. McCarthy, members of the Executive Committee, and the 
following guests of the day : Hon. A. W. Mitchell of Wood- 
bury, State Comptroller, Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart of Middle- 
town, Hon. Daniel N. Morgan of Bridgeport, Dr. W. C. 
Wile, First Selectman Samuel A. Blackman of Newtown, 
Selectman E. C. Page of Newtown, Judge of Probate 
William J. Beecher of Newtown, Town Treasurer Charles 
H. Northrop of Newtown, Rev. J. F. George of Rockville, 
Rev. Patrick Fox and Rev. P. J. O'Reilly of Xewtown, 
Rev. T. B. Smith of Danbury, Representatives John J. 
Northrop and E. W. Troy, Tax Collector John F. Houlihan, 
Rev. Frederick Foote Johnson, Rev. Clarence Beers, 

Chairman of the Parade Committee. 


of Madison, S. D., Frederick Marble of Lowell, Mass., 
Admiral Prindle of Washington, D. C, Rev. E. L. Whit- 
come of Brookfield, Rev. O. O. Wright of Sandy Hook, 
Elliott H. Morse of New Haven, ex-Senator William N. 
Northrop of Newtown, Homer Keeler of Waterbury and 
Rev. Arthur Parsons of Thomaston. 

The second division was led by Marshal Charles B. John- 
son and aides, who were mounted on white horses. In this 
division, in decorated wagons, rode the members of the 
Newtown High school, class of 1905. The pupils from 
the twenty-three school districts in Newtown, riding in 
handsomely decorated wagons, followed. The parochial 
schools connected with St. Rose's Church were represented 
by several wagons loaded with happy children. Fully five 
hundred school children were in the procession, and they 
presented a beautiful sight as they passed along, waving 
their flags and singing. 

The third division was in charge of Marshal James B. 
Nichols and aides, mounted on chestnut-colored horses. 
Included in this division were the decorated wagons and 
floats, gotten up by local citizens and business firms, as 
follows : The Fabric Fire Hose Company, two wagons ; 
Patrick Gannon, float representing his bee industry ; the 
Newtown Fire Company, Patrick Gannon foreman, with the 
hook and ladder truck, hose cart and fire engine ; G. F. 
Baker & Co., Hawleyville, float representing their furniture 
business ; Levi C. Morris, decorated wagon representing 
his grocery business ; Bee Publishing Company, decorated 
wagon with printer at work on press ; H. C. Plumb, deco- 
rated w r agon, filled with happy children from the Newtown 
Inn; Betts & Betts, two decorated wagons; John T. 
Sheehan, decorated float with blacksmith at work at anvil ; 
H. P. Boyson, float with logs, representing the wood 
industry. There was an attractive Indian float, boys and 
girls dressed as Indians, followed by a number of mounted 


young men dressed to represent Indians, and four native 
Indian girls from Hampton. Herbert Flansburg, the actor, 
dressed in complete Indian costume, rode in this division. 
P. L. Ronalds loaned for the parade his stylish four-in-hand 
tally-ho, which was occupied by ladies and children. 

The fourth division was in charge of Marshal Louis T. 
Briscoe and aides, mounted on bay horses. In this division 
were a number of citizens on horseback. Mrs. William 
C. Johnson and Miss Fannie Daniels, dressed in "costume 
of ye olden time," rode in a carriage about two hundred 
years old. Miss Jennie Briscoe also rode in a wagon which 
was built in 1700. O. F. Terrill of Hawleyville had a 
decorated wagon with a fat steer as a passenger. 

When the column reached the Fair Grounds the carriages 
were driven to the speakers' stand, where seats were pro- 
vided for the Governor and other distinguished guests. The 
grand stand was already rilled and the space about was 
crowded with spectators ; so it was but a few minutes before 
the President of the day, Rev. James H. George, called 
the gathering to order and announced the opening number, 
"Home Again," which was sung by the Chorus. There 
were fifty voices in the Chorus, which had seats on the 
platform adjoining the speakers' stand. Their music was 
a most enjoyable and inspiring feature of the day's pro- 
gramme. Prof. C. S. Platt was organist, and the director 
was Rev. O. O. Wright. 

The Rev. Patrick Fox, Pastor of St. Rose's Church, was 
introduced to invoke the divine blessing, and offered the 
following prayer : 


Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in 
them the fire of Thy love. 

Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, 
And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. 
O Lord, hear my prayer, 

Pastor of St. Rose's Church. 


And let my supplication come to Thee. 

O God, Who, by the light of the Holy Ghost, hast instructed the 
hearts of the faithful ; grant that, by the same Spirit, we may have 
a right understanding of all things, and evermore rejoice in this 
holy consolation: through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and 
reigneth one God, world without end. Amen. 

O God, to whom every heart is open, every will declares itself, 
and from Whom no secret lies concealed, purify, by the inspiration 
of the Holy Ghost, the thoughts of our hearts, that we may perfectly 
love Thee, and worthily praise Thee: through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Amen. 

Rev. Otis W. Barker was announced as one well known 
and always gladly heard to give the address of welcome. 
He was heard by the large audience with evident pleasure, 
and his witty remarks were greeted with frequent applause. 



Mr. President: I am only a comma and not a full stop. 
I am here simply to catch the ripples of enthusiasm as they 
roll and hurry along. I am here but to make a tiny squeak 
in our great oratorio of sound. I am filling up a gap while 
the orators of the day are catching their breath. Has not 
our great chorus of welcome already grandly begun? As 
the first grey light of morning streaked these verdant hills, 
did you not hear the pounding of our wake-up gun? We 
meant that you should hear it. In ever increasing waves 
detonating thunderous welcome we shall say all through this 
day we are glad to see you until the zip-boom-ah of the 
shower-spreading rocket to-night loses itself as it dashes its 
spray of light among the stars. 

Well, I am sure that our noisy demonstration has by this 
time fully waked us all up; and I rather have an inkling 
that Wacumseh or some other red man with unpronounce- 
able name has rolled over in his blanket, disturbed by the 
noise, and taken a fresh grip upon his tomahawk. You 
have seen Welcome spelt out for you in waving lines of 
light as our gay-hearted school children, 500 strong, have to 
enthusiasm's voice added the greeting of numberless flags, 
whose glories mingle themselves with the brightness of this 
glad morning and the blue sky. As those who have for six 
long months been pushing the machinery of Bicentennial 
celebration when the wheels stuck fast in mud and slough, 
we feel that we are now getting what we have put down on 


7 or twelve years Pastor of the Congregational Church, 
Member of the Bicentennial Executive Committee. 


paper with painstaking care off into the realm where they 
live and move. Have you not seen the phalanxes of eat- 
ables that have been moving these few last hours into yonder 
buildings; and may I rehearse the stale old joke that 
although our Fair Grounds may not seem very fertile, we'll 
have no desert here to-day, because of the sand-which-is 
there. Dame Hen has left her cackle and bold Chanti- 
cleer is missed from the barn yard convocation, and all have 
come to join their lusty shouts in our welcome here to-day. 

Our program tells us we are two hundred years old ; but 
as we saw last night our venerable ones loosen their 
rheumatic joints and shake out their Quaker foot, we all 
seemed again to have taken a draught from the elixir of 
life. Even our dignified Governor proves that he can, if 
need be, assume the roll of a spruce, dapper young man. 
It is pleasant to recall the past, to take out the jewels from 
memory's casket and let them glitter before our faces one 
by one. 

On a bench in a park of a neighboring city sometime ago 
sat a young man. His clothes w r ere dusty, but not shabby. 
His face wore a look of dejection. He evidently had cut 
loose the cable from life's helpfulness and cheer. A 
stranger, passing through the park, took in the situation 
at a glance. He sat down beside the young man, and look- 
ing steadily into his face, said : "I think, my good fellow, 
you just want a good grip of the hand." The young man 
had left his rural home to find work in the city. The old 
story had been gone over. He had run up against hard 
luck ; nobody wanted to employ him and worse still, nobody 
cared for him. He had come to the end of his endeavor 
and the future was a blank. This firm hand-clasp heart- 
ened him and soon he was employed, on his feet and fight- 
ing the battle of life as a man. Good friends, in our 
welcome this is the sort of hand-clasp we would give you 
to-day, one that brings cheer and encouragement. Are 


you down in the mouth? On this great day, brace up. 
Epictetus, the Greek slave, says there are two handles 
for everything; by one handle a thing can be easily borne, 
grasped by the other handle it becomes a heavy weight. 
Grip the right handle to-day. Nothing is above our 
ambition. We invited President Roosevelt to come, and 
came within an ace of corralling him. If that had been 
the only thing lacking, we would even have produced the 
bear. We almost thought of asking the Japanese and 
Russian plenipotentiaries to make us a stopover on their 
way to Washington. 

This is a big celebration, and we are all celebrated people 
too. New York is noted for its commerce, Boston for its 
literature, Philadelphia since the days of Franklin for its 
science, Washington for its politics, Baltimore (our bache- 
lors are planning a trip there next week) for its pretty 
girls, and Newtown for its good roads, small debt, fine 
high school and good citizens. In our stock market we deal 
almost wholly in futures ; we're going to be great some day. 
We have many lights in the way of Pecks set upon a hill ; 
but our splendid parade shows you that not under a bushel 
are our Pecks hid. They say that if you swing a cat by the 
tail, you sweep a wide circumference. Swinging our 
metaphorical cat, then, behold ! what a wide circuit we take 
in. Yale appears first on our rim, and that is why we are 
so wise. Bridgeport next heaves into view, and that is why 
we are such "big guns." Shelton next throws out her 
light, and that is why we wear so many buttons. Danbury 
comes down the home stretch, and that is why all of us here 
to-day upon the platform have a new hat. 

Good stranger, that comes to-day within our quiet vales, 
we extend to you the courtesies of a "wide open" town. 
The door of our houses over yonder on the hills are wide 
open ; we forgot to close them. Our pocketbooks will be 
open after we are through paying our bills. May your 


grips, too, be wide open as you leave us for some kindly 
memento of the occasion which your friends will give you. 
May your ears be wide open after I sit down for the words of 
wisdom which from our orator's lips like gentle dew will 
fall. The five sweetest words in the English language are 
said to be these : heart, home, hope, happiness and heaven. 
As through the dull monotony of life's grinding cares you 
listen with attentive ear for the lullaby of sweet strains that 
call into sunnier realms, may you hear to-day in the swelling 
of the tones of our five-stringed harp this one note ring loud 
and clear : We welcome you to-day with all our heart. 

When the train is sweeping through the mountains 
around the great Horseshoe Curve, it does not for one 
moment slacken its speed. The massive driving wheels fly 
just as quickly, the mighty snorts from the cavernous 
smoke-stack come just as fiercely, the swaying of the speed- 
ing car from side to side is just as hazardous as before the 
curve was approached. To-day on this great anniversary 
we are swinging around the curve. The center of our circle 
is over yonder in the woods where the Indians bartered 
with wampum and beads for the land which once they 
owned. We do not relax our vigor for one moment as we 
face the future all untried. We may tighten our girth, but 
we do not take in our spread of sail. Under this great 
stretch of sky to-day we are Newtowners all. With com- 
mon heart and with linked hand we join to glorify the past 
and to make the future strong. Do not despise us who 
stay here near virgin sod. Those are necessary who hold 
the fort ; the mother once was praised who only wound the 
yarn. If there was not something small, there would be 
nothing great. The river flows from the rill. They travel 
as well who merely talk at the family table of what has 
transpired on the way from school as those who belt the 
world. They succeed in moil of the city who have the 
granite of the hills in their blood. The historic address 


will show you how great we have been, but the cemetery 
over yonder does not contain all our greatness. 

May you all enjoy the spirit of the day. A good minister 
(a Methodist, I believe, he was) once received a jar of 
brandy peaches from a doting parishioner. They were 
excellent, of the good kind our foremothers made, and the 
worthy man in acknowledging them wrote : "I appreciate 
very much your peaches, especially the spirit in which they 
were sent." The bass drum rolls out the deep notes of the 
spirit which is here. The music of the fife gives it another 
key. The merry prattle of the children shows our past 
comes not as a skeleton at the feast ; it has a right good 
laugh. The spirit of the day is catching. It breathes in the 
air, it swells in our music, it tingles in our finger-tips, it 
loses itself among the clouds. It is lowed by the sleek kine 
that browse in the grateful shade ; it is grunted by the swine 
that express their satisfaction from the noxious sty. Spirit 
of the generations now sleeping, be with us to-day. This 
is the generosity we extend you that once said grace over 
the Thanksgiving table and made the ancestral home the 
rendezvous of happy-hearted fun. As the mists have rolled 
away from these hills this morning may our tear-drops 
now be banished and the gloom all chased away. A father 
was traveling with his little girl a cripple. Seeing her 
asleep on the car seat, a kind lady slipped some roses in her 
hand and leaned the frail form against her arm. On return- 
ing from the smoker, the father found his little girl just 
awaked. Looking at the roses she said: "I have been in 
heaven, don't you see?" Catching the ozone that is wafted 
from these sunlit hills, may you not feel you have been at 
least near heaven to-day ? 

Two hundred years! Yes, a dream. The Indian has 
faded out of view. Long since he has climbed the hills and 
read his doom in the setting sun. Another race is here, 
the proud Anglo-Saxon, "inhabiting the greatest continuous 

empire ever devised by man," followed in the race to lead 
the world by the flower-loving Japanese and the phlegmatic 
dweller by the storied Rhine. Two hundred years! It is 
only a tick of the clock of eternity, only a rustling of the 
robes of the Infinite as He passes in the night. A dream? 
Yes; but when one awaketh, he awaketh to light and duty. 
The swarthy Indian passed into the shadow ; the spirit of the 
hills that he worshipped changes for the God who weigheth 
the hills in scales and maketh the mountains to smoke as a 
furnace. Let us as children of the light walk in the light. 
Let us as those, though but born for a day, live as those 
who shall outlive the stars. 

Here's a bumper, my friends, to the days that are gone ; 
here's a pledge of manhood strong for that which is to 
come ; and here's our hand both kindly and true as we 
welcome you from city, from country, from dale, from vale, 
and open to you the best that we have. 

"There are no days like the good old days 

The days when we were youthful ! 
When humankind were pure of mind 

And speech and deeds were truthful ; 
Before a love for sordid gold 

Became man's ruling passion, 
And before each dame and maid became 

Slaves to the tyrant fashion ! 

There are no girls like the good old girls 

Against the world I'd stake 'em ! 
As buxom and smart and clean of heart 

As the Lord knew how to make 'em ! 
They were rich in spirit and common sense, 

A piety all supportin'; 
They could bake and brew, and had taught school, too, 

And they made the likeliest courtin' ! 

There are no boys like the good old boys 

When we were boys together ! 
When the grass was sweet to the brown bare feet 

That dimpled the laughing heather: 


When the peewee sung to the summer dawn 

Of the bee in the billowy clover, 
Or down by the mill the whip-poor-will 

Echoed his night-song over. 

There is no love like the good old love 

The love that mother gave us ! 
We are old, old men, yet we pine again 

For that precious grace God save us ! 
So we dream and dream of the good old times, 

And our hearts grow tenderer, fonder, 
As those dear old dreams bring soothing gleams 

Of heaven away off yonder." 

After the singing by the Chorus of "Around the hearth," 
the President of the day said : 

"We meet to-day to celebrate the beginnings of our 
town history, the transfer of the ownership of this beauti- 
ful country from the savage Indian to the civilized Anglo- 
Saxon. But this civilization did not originate here. It 
came across the water and by successive emigrations 
reached this place which is our home. It is fitting that, 
as an introduction to the history of the town itself, we 
should call to mind the larger movement of which the 
settlement of our town was an outcome, and learn some- 
thing of the colony of which it was a part. 

"It is especially fitting that this should be done for us by 
one who in position and attainments is best qualified for that 
task, a ripe scholar in many lines, but particularly in the 
history of our own State, and the head of the organization 
which has done invaluable service in preserving the records 
of our State and Colony. I have the great privilege of 
introducing the Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart, President of the 
Connecticut Historical Society." 

Dr. Hart's paper, including as it did much that was new 
even to those who felt familiar with the history of the 
Colony, was listened to with the closest interest. 

President of the Connecticut Historical Society. 



President of the Connecticut Historical Society. 

Your Newtown was not the first place in the Colony of 
Connecticut to bear its name. Seventy years before these 
fair hillsides and valleys were secured as a home for your 
ancestors, a company of earnest men and women had moved 
to the westward from Massachusetts Bay to seek a new 
abode on the farther side of the Connecticut. It was for 
them a journey through forests and over ridges and across 
streams ; they went along in the wilderness wherein was 
no way ; and their passage of the Great River was for 
them in a very real sense what the passage of the great 
river of the eastern world was to the Father of all the Faith- 
ful. They were warned by those whom they left behind 
that in the bounds of the west, where they were minded to 
dwell, they would meet with strange experiences, and that 
they must expect to contend there in the great battle with 
Antichrist, whose abode was in the ends of the earth. But 
they were sturdy men and brave women, who believed that 
they had a call to found a new commonwealth, and who 
were convinced that at a safe distance from their brethren 
they could put into operation certain principles of associa- 
tion and government which did not quite commend them- 
selves to those whom they left behind. Turning their steps 
a little to the south as they went westward, they crossed the 
river below the line which bounded the Massachusetts pat- 
ent in a fair valley, of the beauty and fertility of which 


they had heard before. They had come from the New 
Town just across from the older town of Boston, a place 
which was soon to become the seat of a college and to adopt 
a name that should recall the seat of an ancient university 
in England ; but when they left it, the Massachusetts Cam- 
bridge was still New Town. They went through the wilds 
and came to the sight of their new home ; and there, as 
those who settled above them continued for a time the name 
Dorchester and those who took up their abode a little below 
brought the name of Watertown, they founded a new New- 
town. In some sense indeed they might have said that 
theirs was the original Newtown ; for the organized church 
of their former home came with them, and was not the 
church the most important part of their organization? 
But at any rate, such was the name which they brought; 
and for a short time there was a Newtown in Connecticut 
established in the sight of the Dutch fort of slightly earlier 
foundations and guided in matters ecclesiastical and civil by 
Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone. But soon the thoughts of 
the settlers went back past their recent abode on the Bay to 
their old home in England ; and after two years they agreed 
that Newtown should be called Hartford they doubtless 
called it Har'ford from the name of the old dwelling-place 
of one of their ministers. The former name lapsed ; but 
it was after a while suggested for adoption in the eastern 
part of the colony, and was actually renewed by those who 
fixed on this place as a home for themselves and their 
children ; and at the end of two centuries we find the name 
perpetuated here. We may feel obliged to apologize for 
it, as one apologized for the name of the venerable founda- 
tion of New College at Oxford, by saying, "It was new 
once" ; but we gladly keep the word which has almost lost 
the significance of its derivation, and has come to mean, 
for many who live here and many more who are scattered in 
divers parts of the country and (it may well be) in remote 


parts of the earth, all that is denoted by the name of an 
ancestral home or of their own home in childhood or of 
their only home in youth and active life and happy age. 
One who speaks for the State Historical Society, which has 
its local abode in the capital city of the State, may venture to 
say that he brings to-day a salutation from the old Newtown 
of 1635 to the new Newtown of the comparatively recent 
date of 1705, seventy years its junior. 

Seventy years pass beyond the limit of the active life of 
man in these degenerate days, save in a few extraordinary 
cases ; but seventy years is not a long time in the life of a 
family or a church or a nation. Still, it is a period which 
often marks the occurrence of important events, the passage 
of important actions, the influence of strong men. Espe- 
cially the first three score years and ten in the history 
of a commonwealth cannot but determine in great part its 
future life. The Connecticut into which the settlement 
which was made here two hundred years ago was soon 
admitted as a town, was already the Connecticut of an 
important history. Let me remind you it must be briefly 
and almost by suggestion of some of the events by which 
that history was marked and its issues determined. 

The Connecticut Colony had, as we may say, gained con- 
sciousness of its power and of its rights in the Pequot war ; 
it had made declaration of its principles of government and 
claimed and accepted the responsibilities of a common- 
wealth in the adoption of the Fundamental Orders, the 
first written constitution in the world establishing a pure 
and strong democracy ; and it had strengthened itself by 
acquiring such governmental rights as were possessed by the 
commander of the fort at Saybrook. Meanwhile there 
had been growing, under the influence of an aristocratic 
settlement at the mouth of the Quinnipiack, a federation 
for it was rather this than a commonwealth the principles 
of which were not in entire accord with those of the 


River colony. We may remind ourselves, by the way, that 
in the first sermon preached at New Haven the settlers were 
bidden to think of themselves as led into the wilderness 
to be tempted of the devil. 

Soon the days of the Commonwealth in England came 
and passed ; the King fell and the King came to his own 
again ; and the new King gave to the younger Winthrop 
for his Colony of Connecticut that wonderful charter which 
continued its former government, confirmed to it all that it 
had ever had or claimed, and in fact assured its perpetu- 
ation for all time. An immediate result of the charter was 
the inclusion, in 1662, of New Haven in Connecticut, not 
very willingly accepted by those who were thus deprived of 
a sort of sovereignty without their consent, but seen to be 
necessary for common safety and for mutual advantage ; 
and the united colony was able to take her place among 
friendly neighbors and to assert her rights against her 
opponents. It is not amiss, perhaps, to note the growth 
of the body politic by enumerating the towns which came 
under the general provisions of the charter. In Connecticut 
proper, besides the original towns of Wetliersfield, Hart- 
ford, and Windsor, there were eight : Saybrook of equal 
antiquity with the three, Stratford, Farmington, Fairfield, 
Norwalk, Middletown, New London, and Norwich. With 
New Haven there were four others ; Milford, Guilford, 
Stamford, and Branford. I do not mention the towns of 
Long Island which were under the one or the other of these 
jurisdictions, as they did not long continue their relations to 
them. These fifteen towns formed on the whole a homo- 
geneous and prosperous community. Under the spiritual 
care of well educated and godly ministers ; with upright 
magistrates, who administered wisely the laws made by the 
representatives of the people ; training their children in as 
well furnished schools as the times would afford, and found- 
ing a Collegiate school for their higher education ; practising 


and strengthening what came to be known as the New Eng- 
land conscience ; the people of this commonwealth took, 
quietly but surely, their place as men and as Christians. 

Before the time came when these lands were secured for 
a settlement, Connecticut had been called upon to do a good 
deal and to suffer a good deal for the common interests of 
New England and for the maintenance and defense of the 
rights and claims of the mother country; and in doing this 
she had come into a depressed financial condition and felt the 
need of greater activity ; but she was ever the same brave 
and patient commonwealth, doing her best and waiting her 

And in all these years the colony was growing by the 
occupation of new territory and the organization of new 
towns, each a political unit, as the former towns had been, 
and each taking its place in the common life. In this 
neighborhood Derby and Woodbury and Waterbury had 
been founded before 1700, and Danbury, further west, be- 
came a town before the first settlers here were ready for 
incorporation. Such lands as we see lying about us could 
not be left unoccupied ; it is to hear the story of their occupa- 
tion and of that which followed upon it that we are 
assembled to-day. I have already kept you too long from 
listening to your historian ; but I have tried to sketch a back- 
ground on which the local record may be projected, and to 
suggest what sort of a body politic it was, with its 18,000 
inhabitants, its churches and schools, its rising college hav- 
ing four students already graduated, its simple and strong 
form of government, its honorable history, its high ideals 
and aspirations, and its preparation for a noble future, in 
which the settlers of this community were preparing, two 
hundred years ago, to form a new unit of life and adminis- 
tration. Let me but add that a commemoration of this kind 
has a value and an influence far beyond the limits of the 
town in which it is held. It affects the life of the State, and 


gives an inspiration to many who have but a remote connec- 
tion perhaps no personal connection at all with your 
history. The deserved praise of "famous men and our 
fathers that begat us" awakens in others than their descend- 
ants an appreciation of the past and a determination to make 
the future worthy of it. And while we look for a result of 
what is said and done here to-day in a renewed interest in 
local history, a better appreciation of the value of your 
foundations, a clearer view of the opportunities of your 
town and of the duties of its citizens, a sense of the import- 
ance and appreciation of the past and a determination to 
make plans both for the near and for the far-off future of 
your home, we may not forget that all this influences a wider 
community ; and that as the present in its wide unfoldings is 
what the past, sometimes in narrow lines of work and 
influence, has made it, so the future is affected far beyond 
the possibility of our thought by our labor, our character, 
our unselfish devotion to the common good. 

The Chorus sang "Praise ye the Father," and the Presi- 
dent of the day said : 

"When your Executive Committee began its plans for 
this celebration, the chief feature of it was, as a matter of 
course, an historical address commemorative of the event 
we would mark and of the early history of the town's 
settlement. It was equally a matter of course that they 
should choose to make that address the one whom you 
will hear to-day. Born of a family whose ancestor was 
one of the original settlers of the town and which has 
lived in the town continuously for two hundred years down 
to to-day, our historian was himself a native of Newtown, 
and here has spent his life. He thus embodies the history 


of our town in himself. He has also the historic instinct. 
With a memory rich in local traditions and a deep interest 
in its past, he has the industry to delve into the ancient 
records and trace to their sources events which lie in 
obscurity. Nor less is he inspired with a genuine loyalty 
to the town's best traditions and a willingness to help lift 
it to high ideals. For many years a member of the Board 
of Education, with a deep love for children and a genuine 
interest in the rising generation, he has undertaken the 
preparation of this history largely for their benefit. 

"It would be impossible in an address of suitable length to 
be delivered on such an occasion that the historian should 
trace in any but the faintest outline the complete history of 
our town to the present day. That he should give us with 
some fulness the history of the town in its beginnings and 
in that part which reaches back beyond the memory of the 
present generation, was a wise choice. His subject, there- 
fore, to-day is 'Pioneer Life in Newtown to the Close of the 
Revolution.' We trust that on a future occasion he may 
bring the history of the town down to our own day. It 
gives me very great pleasure to introduce one so well known 
and loved, Mr. Ezra Levan Johnson." 




When it became known that as a town we were nearing 
the Bicentennial of two events of historic interest, the pur- 
chase from the Indians in 1705 of the land that comprises 
our township, and also the time when we were incorporated 
a town by act of the General Court in October, 1711, the 
question naturally arose, which of these events should be 
observed, or whether each should come in its turn. The 
gathering of to-day shows how the question was answered. 

We cannot call upon those who were active participants 
in the early days to tell us the story of the almost forgotten 
past. The moss has gathered, and is still gathering upon 
the headstones in our village cemetery, telling that long 
ago the first settlers began to fall asleep. Children and 
children's children have followed in quick succession, until 
none are left to tell the story of the first hundred years. 
Fortunate for us, that the town and church records have 
been so well preserved, that from those sources so much 
can be gathered of value. We have no historic landmark 
as the nearby towns of Fairfield, Ridgefield, Redding and 
Danbury have. We have no battlefields where the blood- 
stained sod was once plowed by shot and shell as contending 
armies met in deadly strife. We have no Putnam Park with 
its crumbling chimneys and its broken hearth-stones that 
mark the places where the American soldiers, under the 
gallant Putnam, bivouacked during the rigors of a long 


Chairman of the Bicentennial Executive Committee, 
Historian of the Day. 


New England winter while keeping vigil against an invad- 
ing foe. The pleasant homes that line our village street 
were not erected, as those of Fairfield and Danbury were, 
on the ruins that followed the conflagration caused by the 
invaders' torch. A quiet inland town ours has ever been, 
with agriculture as its basis ; consequently our history must 
lie along the lines of peace. On the plains of our vast 
domain that lie beyond the Rocky Mountains, where cities 
spring up in a day and villages are of mushroom growth, 
the man or the woman who drove the stakes for the first 
homestead plot is still living on it, and could tell us in a half 
hour's time or less the history of the town from its birth to 
the present time. 

Not so is it with our staid New England towns, and 
Newtown is no exception to that rule. No one within the 
hearing of my voice will presume to say or think, that in 
an hour's time anyone, however gifted in language or fluent 
in speech, can give the history of a town that has had an 
existence of two hundred years. Two hundred years, as we 
finite creatures count time, is a long stretch. In that time 
kingdoms may rise or fall, empires crumble away, new 
republics be born, the whole face of the globe be materially 
and permanently changed and the population constantly give 
place to the ever-coming tide of human life. But, whoever 
hears of the death of old New England towns? They may 
become depleted, and we regret to be obliged to say they 
do, but they never die. They are as tenacious of life as 
are the giant trees of the Yosemite valley, that count their 
age by the thousands of years, and grow more majestic and 
grand as the centuries roll by. 

Of the Pootatuck tribe of Indians who occupied this 
region when the English first came among them, we know 
little as to their numbers or condition. That they were a 
peaceable tribe is affirmed by all historians. They -never 
gave trouble to the whites, nor did they distinguish them- 


selves by wars upon neighboring tribes. Their lives seem 
to have been as peaceful as the everflowing waters of the 
Housatonic on whose banks they had their homes, and 
which locality will ever be known by its Indian name, 
Pohtatuck. We know not how many the tribe numbered at 
the time they sold their land, but President Stiles of Yale 
College says in his Itinerary, that in 1710 they numbered 
only fifty warriors, and in his opinion were at that time 
subject to Waramaug, a considerable sachem who lived on 
the Housatonic within the township of New Milford. 

The Colonial Records abound with evidences of the 
persistent efforts made by the General Court to educate and 
christianize the Indians in the Colony. In 1736 it was 
voted "that at the next public thanksgiving there should be 
a contribution taken in every ecclesiastical society in the 
colony to raise money to be used for the civilizing and chris- 
tianizing of the Indians." Bounds were set for those who 
were called friendly Indians ; the Connecticut river was the 
eastern boundary, and the Housatonic river the western 
boundary, and between those rivers the friendly Indians 
must stay, and no hostile Indian could cross those boundaries 
except at the peril of life ; the General Court keeping a 
jealous eye on all who were looked upon with suspicion as 
likely to incite the Indians to any malicious or murderous 

From the report sent from the Colony of Connecticut to 
His Majesty's government by order of his Honor the 
Governor and the General Court in 1730, the Indian 
population of the Colony was reported as 1600, inclined to 
hunting, drinking and excessive idleness. Indians in the 
colony were taken into the military service when they offered 
themselves, and furnished with arms and ammunition and 
whatever else was needful to fit them for war, and for their 
encouragement they were to be allowed from the public 
treasury the same as the English, the sum of five pounds for 


every man's scalp of the enemy killed in the colony, to be 
paid to the person who did that service over and above his 
or their wages and the plunder taken by them. In 1761 it 
was reported to President Stiles that the number was 
reduced to one man and two or three broken families. 
Cothren, in his Ancient IVoodbury, says Mauquash, the last 
sachem of the Pootatucks, died about 1758 and was buried 
in the "old chimney lot," a short distance east of the old 
Elizur Mitchell house and a short distance from the elevated 
plain on which stood the principal and last village of the 
Pootatucks, and that the last tribal remnant removed in 
"1759 to Kent, and joined the Scaticooks." Records show 
that in 1742 the General Court voted that the sum of twenty- 
five pounds should be delivered out of the Colony treasury 
unto the Rev. Anthony Stoddard and Rev. Elisha Kent, 
who should receive and improve the same for the instruction 
and christianizing the Indians at the place called Pootatuck. 
Rev. Elisha Kent was the minister in charge in Newtown 
from 1733 to 1740. 

The ownership of land comes either by discovery, by con- 
quest, by gift or by purchase. Fortunately for the credit of 
our ancestors, as well as for our present comfort, this town- 
ship of ours came into their possession by purchase from those 
who were found in peaceable possession of it when Charles 
the Second, King of England, was on the throne. Many of 
his loving subjects had crossed the ocean to make for them- 
selves homes in the new world, when John Winthrop, John 
Mason and others petitioned his gracious Majesty the King, 
in view of the fact that they were so remote from the other 
English plantations in New England that "he would create 
and make them a body politique and corporate in fact and 
name, by the name of Governour and Company of the 
English Colony of Connecticut in New England in 
America.'' The petition was granted, impowering them in 
the name of the King and their successors after them "to be 


able and capable in the law to plead and be impleaded, to 
answer and be answered unto, to defend and be defended 
in all actions, matters and things of what kind and nature 
whatsoever, and to have, take and possess and acquire lands 
and to bargain, sell and dispose of, as other our liege people 
of this our realm of England, or any other body pollitique 
within the same may lawfully do." That we may under- 
stand the manner by which our township passed from the 
ownership of the Indians to the English, we must have 
recourse to the Connecticut Colonial Records. 

At the session of the General Court holden in Hartford in 
October, 1667, an act was passed appointing a committee 
and empowering them with liberty to purchase Pohtatuck 
and the lands adjoining to be reserved for a village plan- 
tation. In 1670 the court further decreed 

"that whereas several inhabitants of Stratford have had liberty to 
purchase Pootatuck for a village or town, the aforesaid committee 
with Mr Sherman of Stratford are hereby impowered to order the 
planting of the same, if it be judged fit to make a plantation; pro- 
vided if they do not settle a plantation there within four years, it 
shall return to the Court's dispose again." 

In 1671 the General Court gave 

"liberty to certain men to purchase of the Indians such land as they 
shall judge convenient within the bounds of the Connecticut colony 
always provided the said land shall remain to the dispose of the 
General Court, and when the land is disposed of by the court the 
committee shall have rational satisfaction for their disbursement." 

In 1673 the court again appointed a committee 

"to view the lands of the Pootatucks and those adjoining whether 
they may be fit for a plantation and to make return thereof how 
they find it, at the next session of the General Court in October." 

Again, in 1678 the General Court appointed another 
committee, the Honored Deputy Governor, Major Robert 
Treat, with three other prominent men 


"to view and buy convenient land for a plantation in those adjacent 
places about Pootatuck, and when said land is purchased it shall 
remain to be disposed as the Court shall see cause and reason to 
order for the planting of it." 

We have followed the action of the General Court in 
regard to the purchase of the land from the Indians to 
make clear that from start to finish there is no evidence of 
any undue haste or of intrigue in getting possession of their 
lands, and although the price paid for the land when it was 
sold looks contemptibly small and mean, it was a square deal 
and no trouble came from the Indians afterward in regard 
to the same. 

On page 48, Volume i, of the Newtown Town Records is 
recorded the deed given by Massumpus, Mauquash and 
Nunnawauk acting in behalf of the Pootatuck tribe of 
Indians, to William Junos and Samuel Hawley, Jr., of 
Stratford, and Justus Bush of New York, of a tract of 
country eight miles long and six miles wide lying on the 
west side of the Great River, now called Housatonic, and 
bordering on it. 

The deed was given in the reign of her Majesty, Queen 
Anne and reads as follows : 

"Know all men by these presents, yt we Mauquash, Massumpas, 
Nunnawauk, all belonging to pootatuck in ye Colony of Connecticut 
for and in consideration of four guns, four broadcloth Coats, four 
blanketts, four ruffelly Coats, four Collars, ten shirts, ten pair of 

stockings, fourty pound of lead, ten ten pounds of powder and 

forty knives, to us promised to be paid as by these bills under hand 
and one may more fully approve, we say we have Given, Granted, 
Bargained & sold, alienated, Conveyed and Confirmed and by these 
presents do freely, fully and absolutely Give, Grant, Bargain sell, 
alienate, convey and confirm unto William Junos, Justus Bush, and 
Samuel Hawley all now resident in Stratford in ye Colony aforesaid, 
a Certain Tract of land, situate, lying and being in the Colony of 
Connecticut, Butted and Bounded as followeth, viz. Bounded South 
upon pine swamp and land of Mr Sherman and Mr Rositer, South 
West upon Fairfield bounds, North West upon the bounds of Dan- 

- 4 6- 

bury, North East by land purchased by Milford men at or near 
ovanhonock and South East on land of Nunnaway an Indian, the 
line running two miles from the river right against pootatuck, the 
sd tract of land Containing in length eight miles and in breadth five 
miles but more or less, with all appurtanances, privileges and con- 
ditions thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to them. 
The said William Junos, Justus Bush and Samuel Hawley, their 
heirs and assigns to have and to hold forever to their own proper 
use, benefit and behoof for ever, and, we the said Mauquash, Mas- 
sumpus and Nunnawauk for us our heirs and administrators do 
covenant, promise and grant to and with the said William Junos, 
Justus Bush and Samuel Hawley, their heirs and assigns yt before 
ye ensealing thereof, we are the true, sole and lawful owners of ye 
above bargained premises and possessed of ye same in our own 
Right as a good, perfect and absolute estate of Inheritance in fee 
simple, and have in ourselves good Right, full power, and Authority 
to Grant, bargain, sell, convey, alien and confirm the same and all 
the privileges and particulars before mentioned in manner as above 
said and yt ye said Wm Junos, Justus Bush and Samuel Hawley, 
their heirs and assigns shall and may from time to time and at al 
times hereafter by virtue of these presents lawfully, peaceably and 
quietly, Have, hold up, occupy, possess and enjoy the said bargained 
premises with ye appurtenances free and alone and freely and clearly 
acquitted, exonerated and discharged of, and from al and al Manner 
of former and other Gifts, Grants, Sales, losses, Mortgages, Wills, 
Intails, Joyntures, Dowries, Judgments, Enventory, Incumbrances, or 
other incumbrances whatsoever. 

Furthermore, we, ye sd Mauquash, Massumpas & Nunnawauk, 
for ourselves, heirs, executors and administrators do covenant and 
engage the above described premises to them, the said William Junos, 
Justus Bush and Samuel Hawley, their heirs and assigns against the 
lawful claims or demands of any person or persons whatsoever for 
ever hereafter, to warrant and defend. Moreover, we, washunaman, 
was nabye, Moctowek, Awashkoeum, Annummobe, Mattocksqua, 
Jirmohumpisho, wompocowash, munnaposh, punnanta, wannomo, 
mosunksio, tacoosh, morammoo, Stickanungus, susrousa, we and 
every one of us doth for ourselves and each of us T>y ourselves, Do 
freely give grant and of our own voluntary mind Resign to the said 
William Junos, Justus Bush and Samuel Hawley all our Right title 
and interest by possession, heirship or by any other way or means 
whatsoever. Witness our hands and seals July ye 25 in the 
fourth year of her Majesties Reign, Anno Domino 1705. Signed, 


sealed and delivered in presence of Jacob Walker, Daniel Denton, 
Edward Hinman, Indian witnesses Obimosk, Nunawako, Maquash 
& Massumpas, 

Personally appeared at potutuck & acknowledged ye above written 
Instrument to be thare free and voluntary act & deed before me this 
I2th September 1705, Jon Minor Justice Witness 

Ebenezer Johnson.* 

The above written is a true copy of the original file. 

Test Eleazor Kimberly. 

Exactly entered and compared Jany 22, 1710 per me. Joseph 
Curtis, one of the committee for Newtown." 

As the General Court had sole power and control of 
purchasing Indian lands, the three men acting in their 
individual capacity exceeded their power, not having been 
appointed a committee for that purpose. Their act was 
contrary to the laws of the colony, as the General Court 
never intended that any Indian lands should be purchased 
in the interest of a land speculation. The deed of purchase 
bears date July 25, 1705, which corresponds to August 5, 
New Style. At the October session of the General Court 
holden in New Haven the same year of the purchase, the 
following vote was passed : 

"Whereas, there are some persons, namely, William Junes, Samuel 
Hawley, Junr., of Stratford, and Justus Bush of New York, who 
have, contrary to the laws of this colony, lately purchased of the 
Indians some thousand of acres of land lying on the west side of 
the Stratford river as appears by a deed of said purchase now in the 
hands of the Court, this court doth recommend it to the civil author- 
ity in the county of Fairfield to take care that the said offenders 
may be prosecuted in due form of law for their illegal purchase 
of lands as aforesaid and do order that a copy of the said deed be 

* The historian of the day is of the fifth generation in direct line 
of descent from Ebenezer Johnson, one of the first settlers of New- 
town, and whose name appears as witness on the deed given by the 
Indians. The names of the Indian witnesses are copied as written 
by the Recorder. 

- 4 8- 

transmitted to the said county court, that the said persons may be 
thereby convicted, and likewise to order prosecution of any other 
persons who shall be found to make or have made any such illegal 
purchases of land in said county." 

At the May session of the General Court, 1706, the 
following act was passed : 

" Whereas, Justus Bush of New York, Mr Samuel Hawley, Junr., 
and William Junos of Stratford, have, without liberty from this 
corporation, purchased a tract of land of some Indians lying 
within this colony, for which they are to be prosecuted at a special 
county court in Fairfield in June next, the said Junos offering to 
this court to resign to this corporation his part of said purchase 
and to endeavor that his partners shall do the like before or at this 
special court, this court do therefore see cause to order, that if the 
said Bush and Hawley and Junos do, before, or at the said county 
court make a full, free and firm resignation of the said deed or 
purchase of land above mentioned to this corporation and deliver 
the same completed according to law, into the hands of Capt Nathan 
Gold and Mr Peter Burr or either of them for the use of this cor- 
poration, that then the above said prosecution against them shall 
cease, or if any one or more of them shall do the same for his 
or their part, he, or they so doing shall not be any further proceeded 
against for his or their breach of law in making the above said 
purchase, and the person or persons so resigning, may present at 
the General Court in October next the account of his or their charge 
of their purchase above said for the Court's consideration." 

As the parties guilty of the illegal purchase made satis- 
factory restitution to the demands of the General Court, 
no prosecution followed. 

When the land purchased was measured and the lines run, 
which was not until 1712, nearly a year after the incorpor- 
ation of the town, the following vote was passed at a town 
meeting held December 20, 1712 : 

"The Inhabitants Aforesaid made Choyce of John Glover, Jeames 
Harde, Jeremiah Turner, and John Platt A Committy To measure 
ye land and settle ye bounds With ye Indians of That Purchase 
Which William Junos purchased of y 6 Indians with his asotiates 

in ye boundaryes of Newtown and to request Col Jonson and Capt 
Miners' assistance to declare to ye indians what land ye sd. indians 
sold per ye Deed. Also to procure four Gallons of rum to treate ye 
indians and to refresh yemselves and Charge ye Town debter for 
ye rum and all other charge and trebel necassary in complecting ye 

After the organization of the town and the survey of the 
lands purchased of the Indians had been made, it was found 
that one Indian, Quiomph so called, claimed in his own 
personal right a strip of land alongside the Great River, 
and the town appointed John Glover and Abraham Kimberly 
a committee, with Thomas Bennitt and Jonathan Booth as 
assistants, to buy Quiomph's land that he had laid claim to, 
declaring himself to be owner of all the land not heretofore 
purchased by the English. The price paid him by the town 
agents was 16 pounds. It is described by the deed as 
follows : 

"All ye land in ye boundaries of Newtown not purchased by ye 
English before ye date of these presents, except a corner, of intervale 
land lying by ye River, and is bounded easterly by ye River and on 
all ye other sides by a brook called by ye Indians 'Hucko,' from ye 
River until ye Brook comes down between ye hills, and from ye 
said brook where it comes down between ye hills, a straight line 
direct to ye River." 

This is the only recorded sale of Indian lands that was 
made after what is known as "the first purchase," though 
in order to meet any emergency or dispute that might arise, 
it was 

"voted at a town meeting held January 12, 1713, that Captain 
Minor of Woodbury, and John Glover and Abraham Kimberly of 
Newtown, purchis all ye land withn ye bounds of Newtown of ye 
Indians that is not yet sold or purchised of them, and ye said 
Inhabitants by their Clear vote doe give said Captain Minor, John 
Glover and Abraham Kimberly full power and Authority to Purchis 
all ye Indian lands in ye boundaries aforesaid or as much as ye 
Indians will sell, for ye use of ye Town, ye Town Treasurer to 


pay all ye Purchis money and all ye Charge and trouble ye Pur- 
chisers shall Be att." 

In 1/56 the Connecticut colony reported to the Crown 
that there were 1000 Indians in the colony, nearly one-half 
dwelling in English families and the balance in small clans 
in various parts of the colony, and were peaceably inclined. 
The white population in the colony was 70,000. 

In May, 1708, the Colonial Legislature gave a town grant 
leaving it to the people to choose between Preston and 
Newtown for a name. In May, 1711, the town was given 
the right to elect local officers, and a town clerk, constable, 
surveyor of highways, a field driver and fence viewer 
were chosen. These several officers were obliged to go to 
Danbury to take the oath of office. 

In October, 1711, the town was incorporated and granted 
the right to elect townsmen or selectmen, and at a meeting 
held at the house of Daniel Foote, December 4, 1711, 
Ebenezer Pringle, Samuel San ford and John Platt were 
chosen selectmen, thus setting in motion the wheels of town 
government which have continued revolving under varying 
conditions until the present moment, as near an illustration 
of perpetual motion as we are likely to ever discover. 

Next in order of business came the laying out of the 
township, which is expressed on the town record in the 
following terms : 

"All of that tract of land lying on the west side of Stratford or 
Pohtatuck river, bounded easterly on Stratford and part of Fairfield, 
westerly upon Danbury and a line running from the southeast corner 
of Danbury parallel to the east line of said town to Fairfield bounds, 
northerly upon New Mil ford purchase and Pohtatuck river shall be 
one entire town known by the name of Newtown." 

A committee was then appointed and authorized by the 
Legislature to survey the tract of land and consider what 
number of inhabitants it would conveniently accommodate, 

determine where the town plot should be, and lay out a 
suitable number of home lots. Esquire Joseph Curtis of 
Stratford, Capt Joseph Wakeman of Fairfield, Mr. John 
Sherman of Woodbury and Mr. Thomas Taylor of Danbury 
comprised the Legislative committee. The first allotment 
of land took place in March, 1710. The allotment as 
recorded is a lengthy document, but the location of the land 
can easily be determined from the records. It lay on the 
westerly side of the new country road and was bounded on 
the west by the great pond and the long meadow. This long 
meadow was the intervale land, comprised in what we 
now call Head of the Meadow district, and bounded on the 
south by the deep brook. It included the plain stretching 
to the southward of Mrs. Philo Clark's and the ridge of land 
that extends northerly from her house. 

There were 22 proprietors who took their pitch in this 
first allotment, 

"Ensign richard Hubbell, Daniel Bur Senr, theophilus Hul, Daniel 
Bur Junr, Captain Bur, Lieutenant Samuel Hubbell, Mr John Reed, 
Mr Chauncy, Eben Booth, John Miner, Captain Hawley, theo Lake, 
Mr Samuel Hawley, Joseph Curtice Fairweather, Capt Judson, jon 
Morris, Wm Jeanes, Jon Beardsley, Ebenezer Pringle, Jeremia 
Turner, Edward lewes, dan'll Jackson, Benja. Sherman, Thomas 

The document is signed by Joseph Curtice and Thomas 
Taylor, two of the committee appointed by the Colonial 
Legislature. The lots were uniform, each containing 20 
acres. The record is as follows: 

"An a Countt of a Division of Land laid out March 24, 1710, by 
the Committee for Newtown, each lot Containing 20 acres, Namely 
on the Hill on the west side of the town 14 lots already laid out 
to perticularly persons, named to wit, Josiah Burit the north lott, 
Abraham Kimberly the south lot, only Kimberly's lot contains but 
9 acres and is to have n acres more adjoying to the west side 
Mr Sherman's farm to joint with ye south side of Mr Sherman's 
farm, 60 acres laid out to Mr Glover in one piece being for three 


allotments due to him lying northward of ye said town on ye north 
side of a brook. Note that John Griffin in lieu of ye home lot layed 
out to him accepts of land layed by his dwelling house and hath 
two acres layed at the east end of his twenty acre lott, and two acres 
on the west side of Mr prindle's home lott adjoying to itt. Sixteene 
20 acre lots to be laid out west of Josiah Burit's lott, and that rang 
of 20 acre lotts, in three parcels, the first rang on ye west of afore- 
said, contains eight lots of 20 acres each from the south to the north 
upon the first hill and three lots on a hill of 20 acres each, lying 
west of the northerly end of the next above hill, and give lots of 
twenty acres each on the next hill on the southwest from the above 
hill of three lots and butts southerly on ye great pond, five lots to 
be laid out on the southerly end of Mr Sherman's farm and Kim- 
berly's land above mentioned, each containing 20 acres; three lots 
to be laid out of 20 acres each lying on the westerly side of the new 
country road southerly of the brook called by the name of the Deep 
brook; five lots to be laid out of 20 acres each lying on the hill 
eastward of the long meadow adjoining to the deep brook on the 
north end." 

At the foot of the document are the names and figures 
showing the order in which the different proprietors took up 
their lots. This was the first town plot. But in the follow- 
ing summer, 1711, another allotment was made easterly of, 
and adjoining the first, being practically an enlargement of 
its borders and on this second plot the village of Xewtown 
was laid out. 

The pioneers were no more unmindful of the shortness 
and uncertainty of human life than we are, perhaps not as 
much so, for in the same year of the town's incorporation, 

1711, the town by vote set apart one acre and a half of 
ground at the extreme south end of the town in which to 
bury their dead, and at a town meeting held December 9, 

1712, it was voted that "Stephen Parmerly shall have the 
use of one acre and a half of land which is the burying 
place for our dead, provided he clear the land of brush and 
sow it with Enelish grass seed." The plot of ground 
referred to is the south end of our village cemetery and is 
known as the old part, and still remains the town's property. 


This was the only recognized place for burying their dead 
until the year 1748. Here are to be found headstones that 
mark the graves of Newtown's pioneers who died between 
1741 and 1800. These are one hundred and fifty in number, 
but no headstones have been found that bear inscriptions 
previous to the year 1741, although the plot was set apart 
for a burying place in the year 1711. There must have been 
many burials there in the thirty years that preceded 1741. 
Surely it would be a fitting thing if in the near future we 
should raise, by voluntary subscription, money enough to 
enable us to place a huge boulder in that open space in the 
old part, with a bronze tablet inserted thereon inscribed to 
the "Memory of Newtown's pioneers who lie in unmarked 
graves." Believing it might add much to the enjoyment of 
this occasion to remove the moss that two centuries had 
accumulated on the old headstones, seventy in number 
have recently been cleaned and the inscriptions made legible. 
This was made possible at this juncture from the fact that 
a medical man who was once of us but not now with us, gave 
very generously for that object and so paved the way for 
its accomplishment. 

There are some very quaint as well as impressive inscrip- 
tions on these old stones, of which I cannot forbear to copy 
a few: 

Here lyeth interred 
the earthly remains of 
the Rev'd John Beach* 
A.M. late missionary ^x,^ 

from the 
^^* Venerable Society for 

* Bequeathed in his will "To my congregations in Newtown and 
Redding ten pounds each, for the purpose of settling another 
minister, and ten pounds for Bibles for the poor of each of my 

He further requested to be buried according to the Liturgy of 
the Church of England. 


the propagation of the 
Gospel in foreign parts 
Who exchanged this life 

for immortality 
on the 19 th Day of March 


Minister in the Episcopal Church Newtown Conn, 
from 1732 to 1782 

The sweet remembrance of the just 
Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust. 
Reader let this tablet abide. 

In memory of 

Rev. Philo Perry 

Pastor of the Episcopal 

Society in Newtown 

who Died Octo r 7 th 1760 

aged 46 years, 10 mos. & 13 days. 

and the thirteenth of his ministry. 

I heard a voice from heaven 
Saying unto me write 
From henceforth blessed are the 
Dead who die in the Lord. 

Beneath, the Dust 

of Sueton Grant 

who Died October 7 1760 

aged 15 years, 10 months & 13 days. 

the son of Donald Grant 

of the Parish of Duthel in the 

County of Inverness in Scotland 

and of Arminel his wife. 

"Loud speaks the Grave 
My Goal unnerves the Strong 
My shades deform the Gay, 

the Fair, the Young. 

y e Youth awaken Catch the short lived Day 

Improve your Time and Talents 

while you may." 


Beneath, the Dust of 

Donald Grant who Died 

Octo r 18 1767 Aged 20 years 

i month and 3 days. 
Son of Donald Grant of the 

Parish of Duthel 
in the County of Inverness 

and Arminel his Wife. 

In Memory of 

Reuben H Booth 

who was drowned 

Nov. 24 aged 

43 Years. 

How in an instant he was call'd 

Eternity to view 

Not time to regulate his house 

Nor bid the world adiew. 

David, son of 

Mr Jonathan & 

Mrs. Phebe, 

Booth died 

Sept r y e 22 1753 aged 

4 Years & n days. 

Joseph Son of 

M r Jonathan & 

M rs Pheby 

Booth died 

August y e II 1751 

Aged 3 Years & n months. 

Here lies y e Body 

of Sarah Booth 

Dau tr of M r Jonathan 

& M rs Pheby Booth 

Died Feb r y 15 1759 

in y e 15 th Year 

of her Age. 


In Memory of M rs Sa r a y 

Jane widow of M r John 

July ye 15 AD. 1750 
Aged 47 Years. 

In Memory of M r Jo 

nathan Booth. He Died February 

Y e 8 A. D 1755 

Aged 73 Years. 

In Memory of the 

Rev d Mr David Judson 

Pastor of the First 

Church of Christ in 

Newtown who Departed 

this Life Sept r y 6 24 

A.D. 1776 in the 61 

Year of his Age. 

David son of Rev- Mr 
David Judson and Mary Judson- 
died Dec. n 1749 aged i year 
6 months & 20 Days- 
Here Lyes y e Body 

of Mary Judson 
Daughter of the Rev. 
David Judson and his 
wife Mary who died 

July 23 1752 
Aged 7 Years & 20 days. 

To the Memory of 

Mr Lemuel Camp 

Who on the 3o* h Day of Jan* 1784 

In the 83 rd Year of his Age 

In obedience to Nature's law 

With Meekness & Christian 

resigned his Life to the 

Almighty giver 

and quietly fell asleep 

This monument is inscribed. 


The marble monument may yield to Time 

Time to Eternity 
But the remembrance of the just shall flourish 

When Time shall cease 
And Death is swallowed up 

with Victory. 

To the Memory of 

Alice Camp 

widow of 

Lemuel Camp 

Who Died Dec. 5 1796 

in the 87^ Year 

of her Age. 

The sweet remembrance of the Just 
Shall flourish when they sleep in Dust. 

In Memory of 

M r Abraham Ferris 

who died April y 6 4 A.D 1789 in 

the 68 th Year of his Age. 

No Gift of Nature, Art, or Grace 
exempted from the Burying Place 
All must obey death's solemn Call 
Before that Tyrant all must fall. 

To the memory of Mrs. 

Elizabeth Jennings Edmond, 

eldest Daughter of the late 

Hon. John Chandler and M r8 Mary 

Chandler, who departed this 

life Feb. 17 1795 aged 29 years 

8 mos. & 17 days. 

This monument is erected by her 
Surviving husband 
William Edmond. 

- 5 8- 

Here lies y e Body 

of Mr John Glover* 

He died in y e faith 

and communion of 

y e Church of England 

June y e 3 A D. 1752 

& in y e 78 Year 

of his Age. 

"The once well respected 

Mr Daniel Booth 

Here rested from the hurry 

of Life, the 8th April, A. D., 1777, 


Could a virtuous, honest and amia- 
ble character, Could Blessings 
of the Poor echoing from his Gate, 

Could ye sympathetick 

Grief of an aged Partner or the 

Soft'ning Tears of a numerous offspring 

Disarm the King of Terrors 

He had not died. What is Life? 

to Answer Life's great Aim. 

From Earth's low prison, from this vale of Tears, 
With age incumbered and oppressed with years, 
Death set Him free, his Christ had made his Pe'ce, 
Let grief be dumb, let pious sorrow cease." 

Read the testimony of Richard Fairman as to the char- 
acter of his wife : 

Hear lies inter'd the 
Body of Mr 8 Jane the 
Dear Wife of Richard 
Fairman Esq r who Dw- 
elt Together in the 
Married State 30 ye- 

* John Glover willed to his wife Elizabeth, his negro man and 
woman and his negro boy Phillip. It was also his expressed wish 
"to be buried according to the manner of the Church of England." 


ars Wanting 23 Days 
And was in his Opinion A 
Woman of the Best sense & 
judgment that he was E 
ver Acquainted With A 
nd He Believes truly pious 
Who departed this Life in the 
58 year of her Age May 16 A.D. 

Safely inter'd Here lies 

The remains of Mrs Mary, 

the amiable consort of Mr Jab's. 

Baldwine, who made her exit Jan., 

1770, in the 36 year of her Age, Leaving 

Behind her 5 Children. 

When a fond Mother's 

care hath nursed her 

Babes to manly size She 

must with us'ry pay 

the Grave. 

To the Memory of 
Mr David Curtiss, 

the agreeable companion and the 

generous friend who was 

suddenly arrested by remorseless 

Death, July 29, A. D., 1783. 

in the 42 year of his age. 
This monument is inscribed. 

"Of this man may it be with propriety said, 
His friends were many, enemies few. 
The partial friend may virtues magnify, 
The flattering marble may record a Lye, 
But God who judgeth righteously and just, 
Will raise his children from the sleeping Dust, 
Proclaim their worth in Earth in Air in Heaven, 
Their pardon sealed, and write their sins forgiven. 

In Memory of 

Mrs Sally Cooke 

2* Wife of Daniel B Cooke 

who departed this life 

Dec r . 12 A.D. 1794 

Aged 20 Years, 
this stone is erected, 

"Could the Piety which adorns 
or Benevolence which endears 

human Nature 
Could tenderest friendship 

or the Purest Love 

Disarm the King of terrors 

She had not Died." 

Much interesting history might be given of those old 
pioneers whose dust lies undisturbed in "God's Acre," 
could time for research be given for the work. 

On the brow of the hill at the north end of the town plot, 
where the ground slopes to the east and south, stand 
headstones that mark the graves of one, Donald Grant and 
three of his children, Sueton, Elizabeth, and Donald, Jr., 
who died respectively in 1760, 1762, 1763, the father himself 
dying in 1767. 

On each of these headstones is inscribed "of the Parish 
of Duthel In y e County of Inverness in Scotland." 
Impressed with the thought that there might be an interest- 
ing history connected with that family, an intuitive feeling 
led me to correspond with Donald Grant Mitchell, known to 
the literary world by the pseudonym "Ike Marvel." 
Through him I learned that Donald Grant's daughter Hannah 
was his paternal grandmother, and on two recent occasions 
when I visited the home of Mr. Mitchell at Edgewood near 
New Haven, I was very kindly received and hospitably 
entertained listening to reminiscences of Donald Grant and 
his family and admiring relics that had been handed down 
by his grandmother, once Hannah Grant the daughter of 

Donald Grant, and born June 28, 1749. First was shown to 
me the passport that was given the young man when he left 
bonnie Scotland in 1732 at the age of twenty-four years, 
crossing a trackless ocean to make for himself a home in 
America. It is written on parchment in a clear legible hand 
and reads as follows : 

"Pass Port 

Donald Grant, 


By the Honorable The 
Magistrates of the 
Burgh of Inverness. 

Permit the bearer hereof, Donald Grant of the Parish of Duthell in 
this County to pass from this Wherever his business may require 
him, without lett or Molestation, he, behaving himself as becometh. 
And it is hereby Certified that the said Donald Grant is Descended 
of honest, reputable parents and has Hitherto behaved himself 
soberly and Honestly. In Testimony Whereof, We have hereunto 
sett our hands and Appointed the Seal of our said Burrow to be 
hereto affixed At Inverness the fourteenth Day of April 1732 years. 

To All Whom it may concern. 
Witnessed By 

John Hossack, Baillie. 
Thomas Alvos, Baillie. 
Collin Campbell, Baillie. 

When Donald Grant landed in this country in 1732 he 
chose Newtown in its virgin loveliness and fertility in which 
to make his permanent home. Bringing with him the pass- 
port signed by the Scotch magistrates of his mother land, 
testifying to his good character, what else could have been 
expected of him but that he would make the good, trusted 
citizen which he became ? His name is frequently met with 
in the first volume of Newtown records in connection with 

business transactions and official duties for the town. And 
by the old records we find that at the age of thirty-five years, 
he married, December 7, 1743, Arminel, the daughter of the 
Rev. Thomas Toucey, the first minister settled in Newtown. 
They lived together twenty-four years, his death occurring 
in 1767, the death of three of their children preceding his. 
Not very long after his death, his widow Arminel, and the 
daughter Hannah, who was eighteen when the father died, 
removed to Wethersfield. The widow there married a 
Mr. Mitchell and the daughter Hannah married his son 
Stephen Mix Mitchell, a highly educated and prominent man 
of Wethersfield, and in due course of time she became the 
paternal grandmother of Donald Grant Mitchell, who is 
still a well preserved man of eighty-three years. When 
at his house he showed me a most beautiful oil painting of 
Mrs. Hannah Grant Mitchell taken when she was past 
eighty years of age, and. remarking upon her rare beauty, 
he informed me that if I could find a certain old book "Old 
Merchants of New York" I would find in that, allusion to 
her, as she was in her younger days. The search was made 
and I was rewarded by finding, copied from "Freeman's 
New York Almanac for the year of our Lord 1765" a 
portion of a journal kept by a New York merchant while 
making a trip on horseback from New York to Guilford in 
the Colony of Connecticut and back to New York. He 
was from September 13 to September 25 twelve days 
making the round trip, passing through Danbury, Newtown, 
Stratford, New Haven, Branford, Killingworth and Guil- 
ford, on the outward trip, stopping over one Sunday in 
Newtown and returning through Guilford, Branford, New 
Haven, Stratford, Fairfield, Norwalk and on to New York. 
I copy from this journal his allusion to Newtown: 

"Left New York Sunday September 13. Reached Danbury Thurs- 
day evening, and of Danbury it is said to be a very pleasant New 


England town, regularly laid out in lots with a church and meeting 
house. Left Tom and his friend to provide a supper dinner. 

Friday September 18. Arose by six this day. Hard rain. Hired 
a guide and a horse, borrowed a woman's cloak for Tom, mounted 
him behind the man and took charge of leading the horse myself. 
Roads wet, splashy, hilly, rocky and stony. Stopped at Landlord 
Fairchilds three miles short of Newtown. Baited, and shaved our- 
selves, remounted and got to our friends by 10 o'clock (distance 
II ) whom we found waiting upon his poor distressed friend Donald 
Grant. Here lives the old gentleman's daughter Hannah, fairest 
among the fair. I have not yet seen her. 

Saturday ip th Rain continues. At dinner, the lovely oh for Mr 
Bolton the too lovely Miss Grant, made her appearance. Grace in 
every step and dignity in all her actions. What is very remarkable 
in this young lady's real character, amidst a crowd of admirers and 
danglers she has preserved the utmost simplicity. 

This day we have walked between the showers about this beauti- 
fully situated town, the country all around most agreeably diversified 
and improved. Sabbath begins Saturday at sundown in this religious 
country. Spent a serious evening. No mirth, no festivity, no going 
to a sick house. 

We were favored all the evening with the fair one's company but 
not conversation. She read "Mr Spec" all the while. Mr Brown 
and Sir Richard did the same, together with the lawyer Botsford 
who lives in the same house, a genteel young fellow and an humble 

Sunday September 20. Fine morning, Rose early. Shaved in our 
rooms early, out of sight. (Sin to shave on Sunday.) Dressed and 
went to meeting. No church this day. An execrable preacher, 
Mister Benbee. The evening service we likewise attended and then 
desired to know, if we might indulge ourselves with a walk but were 
refused, until sun was down. 

We then, accompanied with Mr Botsford sauntered until we 
reached a chestnut tree which he, conscientious gentleman, would not 
so far break the Sabbath, though it might be said to be over, as to 
pluck a single fruit off, but when picked, he ate most greedily of, 
even so far as to distance us who were employed knocking them 

Grave subjects concluded the evening, and we retired to rest, I 
having first wrote two letters, one to Mr Cook Danbury, the other 
to Dr. Perry Woodbury concerning Mr. Donald Grant's case. 

N.B. Spoke to Mrs Botsford for Dr. Thomas Newtown. 


Monday Sept. 21. Rose early. Fine morning. Disturbed the 
family, took our leave and proceeded on our journey. Plenty of 
mushrooms along our path which we cooked and ate. 

N.B. Would not let us pay a farthing. Set off at half past six." 

When Donald Grant died he left by Will which is 
recorded in Probate Records of Danbury, ten pounds money 
for the North school in Newtown, and ten pounds money 
for the South school in Newtown and ten pounds money for 
a bell for the meeting house provided the bell should be 
bought in England. 

More might be told of the family, but enough has been 
given to show what patient research and persistent effort 
might bring forth of the history of many of those whose 
dust has lain undisturbed for more than one hundred and 
fifty years. 

In 1748 the town laid out to the 

"people living at ye northwest part of ye township of Newtown, 
upon their desire, sixty rod of land for a Bureing place to Bury 
their dead in at a place Northerly off or from Benjamin Hawley's 
Dwelling House. First Bounds is a heap of stones in the line of 
Caleb Baldwin's land, then run southly 6 rods to a heap of stones, 
then run westerly n rods, joining to the Highway, then run North- 
erly 5 rods to first bounds land layed out by us. Joseph Bristol, 
Lemuel Camp, Committee." 

In that burying place stands a headstone that marks the 
grave of Jeremiah Turner, the first white child born in 

Attendance at town meetings was made compulsory and 
a fine of three shillings was imposed upon all who failed to 
attend who could give no valid reason for absence. It was 
considered due notice of the meeting if a selectman or 
constable should notify personally or leave notice at the 
dwelling house of the person to be notified. 

Grist mills and saw mills were almost as much a neces- 
sity as houses to live in, for unless people had mills in which 


to grind their grain they must go to Stratford or Danbury 
for their flour or go without. Without saw mills they 
would have to depend for lumber upon the crudest of ways, 
by rending it, for use. At the second town meeting, held 
December 4, 1711, Benjamin Sherman, Ebenezer Pringle 
and John Griffin were appointed a committee to view the 
great pond and see if it would contain a grist mill. It was 
further voted that Jeremiah Turner should have liberty to 
build a grist mill and that he should be given 40 acres 
adjoining the mill, and a committee of three, Benjamin 
Sherman, Ebenezer Pringle and Samuel Sanford, were 
appointed to draw articles concerning a grist mill on Pond 

December 24, 1711, it was voted to get a grist mill on 
Poodertook brook. Jeremiah Turner did not build a grist 
mill upon Pond brook, and the town gave Samuel Sanford 
liberty to do the same. For some reason Sanford did not 
build the mill, and in January, 1714, the town gave Samuel 
Sanford liberty to set a grist mill near Mount Pisgah on 
condition that he would build a good grist mill for the sup- 
ply of the town of Newtown before the twentieth day of 
August, 1714, on the Poodertook brook, the town agreeing 
that no other grist mill should be erected to the damage of 
said Sanford so long as he would supply the town with a 
good mill. The town also agreed to give him 40 acres of 
land lying under Mount Pisgah together with the land lying 
southwest of the mountain to the farm known as the "old 
farm." So the first grist mill was located in Sandy 
Hook, now called. The mill of 200 years ago is gone. 
Another stands on the old foundations. Mount Pisgah 
still forms the background. Generations have passed away, 
but though men may come and men may go, the streams 
flow on forever. 

In March, 1712, the town voted liberty to build a saw mill 
on Deep brook and one was built, where W. C. Johnson's 


feed mill now stands. The following October liberty was 
given John Hawley to set a fulling mill on the Deep brook 
above the saw mill and the use of half an acre of land above 
his mill, provided he does not damnify the saw mill so long 
as he maintains a sufficient fulling mill on Deep brook. The 
place is known as "Fulling Mill hole" to this day. 
February i, 1714, the town 

"voted to give liberty to Ebenezer Smith, James Hard, Jeremiah 
Turner, John Seeley and Joseph Gray of Newtown to build a saw 
mill on Half Way River, northwest of Derby road, down near Strat- 
ford, on Poodertook river, and as much land as shall be needful for 
said saw mill as long as said persons shall erect a saw mill there, 
provided they will saw for the town to the halves and all such timber 
and logs as the inhabitants of the town shall bring to their mill for 
2s 6d per hundred, and also shall have liberty of convenient passage 
to the Great River." 

February 2, 1714, another town meeting 

"voted to give Thomas Bennitt, John Burr and Peter Hubbell liberty 
to set a saw mill on Poodertook brook anywhere near the Great 
River, within 60 rod of the Great River, provided they build it any 
time within three years." 

The foundations of the mill still stand, a short distance 
below the lower Rubber factory. So before 1715 the town 
was supplied with a grist mill and three saw mills, important 
adjuncts to any inland town at so early a date. The records 
also speak of a path that goes from Poodertook to Danbury 
as early as 1714, but no road. 

In 1718 the town voted that a town house or school house 
should be built twenty-five feet square and eight feet 
between the joints. It was built by contract, the builders to 
furnish all the timber, make the frame, get all the shingles 
and clapboards, the town furnishing the nails. They were 
to receive for their work ten pounds money. The building 
stood on the highway just north of where Trinity church 
now stands and remained there until 1733. 


-6 7 - 

In November, 1715, the first country road was laid out 
by a committee chosen by the town, called the road to Wood- 
bury, commencing at the center of the town, running east- 
erly to Poodertook brook, thence towards the Housatonic 
river. The highway was laid out 25 rods in width, with a 
cart bridge across the Poodertook. The same is the high- 
way now from the town street to Sandy Hook, though 
somewhat curtailed as to width. A second layout of road 
was made the same month and year, called the country road 
towards Stratford, running south from the center three 
miles, to what is now known as Cold Spring, where the 
Poodertook was crossed by a cart bridge. A few years later 
a highway was laid out, 10 rods in width, northerly to the 
New Milford line, crossing Pond brook at the north end of 
the town over a horse bridge. Another road 10 rods in 
width was laid out running westward from the center past 
the Great pond to a place called Taunton. These four 
highways radiating from the center of the town, as the four 
points of the compass, with extensions and branches as they 
now have, reaching out in all directions, have become a 
network of lanes, highways and byways that are a delight 
to the naturalist, the artist and the botanist, and at the same 
time a burden to the taxpayers and a perplexity to the town 

In 1725 the town preferred a memorial to the General 
Court, then in session at Hartford, for relief from taxation 
for that year because of their distressed condition. The 
Court voted (Colonial Records, vol. 6, p. 556), 

"Upon the memorial of the town of Newtown showing to this 
Assembly that said town is at present under pressing circumstances 
occasioned by the removal of their former minister and their settling 
another, being weakened by their disunion in opinion which hath 
been and is still among them, and remarkably cut short in their crops 
this present year by the frost, by all which they are much straitened 
and incapacitated to pay a rate to the publick. This Assembly there- 
fore upon the special reasons aforesaid do see cause to free, and do 

hereby exempt and free the inhabitants of said town from paying 
any county rate for the year next ensuing, provided the town of 
Newtown draw no money for their schools nor send representatives 
to this Assembly during their exemption." 

In the early days of the Colony letters and newspapers 
were delivered by post riders, who, on horseback, went over 
their respective routes as laid out for each by the General 
Court. The Court fixed the compensation for travel from 
town to town, and also fixed the price that might be charged 
by the ordinary keepers in the respective plantations, who 
should provide suitable accommodations for man and horse, 
which should be, for the keep of man by the meal, six pence, 
for the horse at grass four pence a night, and for oats four 
pence a half peck, and for hay the night, four pence. Great 
care was to be had by the ordinary keepers that hired horses 
were not to be deprived of their allowance. 

In 1733 the General Court voted that Peter Hubbell have 
liberty to set up a ferry across the river running between 
Newtown and Woodbury, at a place commonly called 
Poodertook, and that the fare of said ferry be three pence 
for a single man or a single horse, and eight pence for man, 
horse and load, the stating of the fare of said ferry to 
remain in the hands of the Court. 

In 1748 the Court changed the fare, and it was for man, 
horse and load four and six pence ; led horse, one penny ; a 
foot man, one and a half penny ; ox or other kine, three 
pence half penny ; hog or goat, one half penny. 

In the early history of the town it was the custom at the 
annual town meeting for the town to pass a vote as to what 
person might keep a house of entertainment. As all travel 
for many years was on horseback or on foot, the transient 
travel was light, and not until after the close of the 
Revolutionary war did wagons come into general use and 
travel increase so as to make it any inducement to keep open 
what came to be known as the tavern. 

Newtown played no small part in the French and Indian 
wars. We can find no information at the Adjutant 
General's office at Hartford in regard to it, but I have in 
my possession a memorandum book that dates back to 
1757. The book belonged to William Beardslee, who lived 
within an eighth of a mile of my own home, and many of 
the entries in the diary show that he was a teamster in the 
French and Indian war, although he was a mason by trade. 
The diary may tell its own story. 

Ensign John Nichols, Dr., 

For 14 days service at driving your team, which service began 
March 31, A. D., 1757, and so continued till my Return from Kender- 
hook at 3 shillings per day, 2 09 o 

To money expended upon Team, o 06 o 

To 28 days service at Driving Team to Millers and attending them 
at 3 shillings per day, 3 18 o 

To 16 days more at driving Team after said Team was entered 
into the service, 2 08 o 

Then follow the names of those enlisted in the French 
and Indian war in 1757 : 

William Stickney, Thomas Greenleaf, Thomas Knight, Nathaniel 
Hunt, Jonathan Rogers, William Muggridge, Samuel Wallanford, 
Thomas Sweet, Joseph Coffin, William Coffin, Joseph Garland, 
Thomas Ford, Joseph Greenleaf, Francis Holody, John Holody, Sar- 
geant Weed, Elimalet Weed, Daniel Norton, Morel Wicker, Daniel 
Tilton, John Flood, Ebenezer Flood, William Cursel, Ballard Smith, 
George Patterson, Benjamin Wenter, John Downing, Joseph Coker, 
Daniel Dooer, Josiah Brown." 

Following is a copy of a letter in my possession, which is 
an echo from the field to the home circle. The writer was 
the son of Mr. Heth Peck, among the earliest of the 


"At Lake George, 

July 27, A D., 1758. 

To My Beloved Heth : Hoping these lines will find you as well as 
I and the rest that came from Newtown, and remember me to my 
father and mother, brother and sisters, and threw God's goodness 
I am preserved through many Dangers that I Have Bin in thanks 
be to God therefore. There was 18 men at Half Way Brook, there 
were three Captains, two Subalterns and one ensign. There was a 
man hanged the 25th day for stealing. I want to have you heare a 
Litil while. Sargeant Summers sent hum to have Robert Cum up 
and bring him up sum Chease and other provition, and if he cums 
if you can send up sum chease and some biskit, and so no more at 

I remain your Loving brother, and when this you see then you 
think of me." 

Here is a bit of pathos in an entry taken from Rev. David 
Judson's record: 

"September 27, 1758, Lost in the army by the sword of the Enemie, 
a son of William Northrop, aged about 20 years." 

An entry found in an old town record reads as follows : 

"Calvin Leavenworth the eldest son of Tho s . and Mary Leaven- 
worth, departed this Life by being Killed at Lake George in the 
battle fought between the french and english September the 8th 
1755 and in 2Qth yeare of his age." 

In 1733 upon the petition of the people of the north end 
of the town, the town voted "that a school house might be 
built near the house of Abraham Bennitt provided it be 
built at their own expense," which was done and the same 
was where the North Center school house now stands and 
was known as the North school. At the same meeting it 
was voted "that the south end of the town should have 
liberty to remove the town or school house towards the 
south end where it shall be thought most convenient for the 
neighborhood, at their own expense," which was done, and 

it was located where the Middle district school house now 
stands and was known as the south school. 

The school districts of the town were formed as the needs 
of different sections required. North Center and Middle 
district were organized in 1733, Taunton in 1739, Land's 
End and Zoar in 1745, Palestine in 1749, Hanover in 1755, 
South Center in 1761, Huntingtown in 1794, Pootatuck in 
1765, Lake George in 1768, Flat Swamp in 1769, Sandy 
Hook in 1779, Bear Hills in 1783, Head of Meadow in 1784, 
Gray's Plain in 1784, Toddy Hill in 1788, Gregory's 
Orchard, Hope well and Half Way River date unknown, 
Walnut Tree Hill in 1866. 

With few exceptions the districts retain the name given 
at their formation. The exceptions are that Sandy Hook 
was first called Poodertook Brook district, Land's End was 
known as Wiskenere, Hanover was at the first Two Mile 
Brook district, and South Center was first called Kettletown, 
then Tinkerfield, and Bear Hills is now Middle Gate. 

In 1767 a district was organized known as Deep Brook 
district and the school house stood east of and near the 
home of Hermon H. Peck. It was called the Federal 
school house. In 1768 Slut's Hill district was organized 
and in 1770 Currituck district. These two districts were 
organized to relieve the condition of the North school, which 
had overflowed its capacity. These three last named 
districts became absorbed by other districts in a few years, 
thus losing their identity. 

Until about the year 1800 the several district committees 
were appointed at the annual town meeting and the laying 
of a tax on the rateable estates of the town to meet the 
expense of the schools was kept up until the management 
of the schools was given over to practically the present 
district system, each district paying its own school expenses 
until by state law the schools become free. The town still 
has its 21 school districts and schools are maintained 40 

7 2 

weeks in the year. Three years ago the town voted to estab- 
lish and maintain a High School. It commenced on 
its fourth year in September with three teachers and eighty 
pupils. Every taxpayer in the town should feel a just pride 
in the record it is making for itself. 

School districts existed for the convenience of the larger 
towns as early as 1725, but were not recognized by law until 
1766 and had no semblance of corporate existence -until 

The meetings held by the free holders of Newtown 
for calling the first minister who accepted, were under date 
of April 29 and May 21, 1713, as follows: 

At a lawful town meeting of y e Inhabitants of Newtown Voted & 
agreed for Ebenezer Smith to go to Weathersfield to treat with Mr 
Tousy of Weathersfield & request him to come and Give us a 
visit & Preach a Sabbath or two with us that we May Have Opor- 
tunity to Discorce him in Order to carry on y e work of y 6 ministry 
Amongst us. test John Glover Recorder 

May y 6 21 st 1713 

Voted & Mad Choyce of John Glover Mr Ebenezer Smith & Mr 
Benjamin Sherman A Committee to discorse & treat with Mr. 
Thomas Towsee of Weathersfield in order to settle Amongst us to 
carry on y e work of y 6 Ministry in this Place This meeting is 
a journed until to morrow night sun half Anour high from y e date 

At y 6 said ajoyrned meeting y e Inhabitants aforesaid Voted to 
sow all y 6 Ministers home lott with wheat that is suitable Mr 
Towsee to have y 6 Crop Provided y 6 s d Mr Thomas Towsee preach y 6 
Gospel Amongst us a Yeare. The Inhabitants aforesaid at s d meet- 
ing further voted and agreed and Made Choice of Mr Thomas 
Towsee for to preach y e gospel Amongst us for y 6 space of a year 
upon Probation in order to settlement 

John Glover Recorder. 

As to the way in which the town provided its minister with 
his fire wood the following recorded vote will show : 

Agreed and voted by y Inhabitants aforesaid to get Mr Toucey his 
fire wood the year 1721 by a Rate Leavied out of y e List of y Estates 


of y e Inhabitants afore s d , at one penny per pound; y 6 price of a 
load of wood, walnut wood is to be 2 s 6 d . A load of Oak or other 
good wood is 2 s a load, y 6 aforesaid Wood is to be Carted or sledded 
by y 6 Last of jan 1 ^ or y 6 first of February Next, and If any man 
Shall neglect to Give in his A Count of his wood unto y? Collector 
of y e Wood Rate Shall by Virtue of this Vote be as Lyable to be 
strained upon for his wood rate as he y l has Got no wood for y 8 
aforesaid Mr Tousey. 

Voted that Dan 11 Foott Shall be & is a pointed Colector for to 
Tak Care of & Colect y e above s d wood rate according to vote, or 
as the Law Directs for y e Gathering other town Rates. 

test Joseph Peck Town Clerk. 

Rev. Thomas Toucey was the first minister Newtown 
had. He was born at Wethersfield, Conn., in 1688, gradua- 
ted at Yale College in 1707 and settled in Newtown in 1709. 
He was ordained minister by the ecclesiastical council in 
October, 1715, was married to Hannah Clark of Mil ford 
November 12, 1717, and became the father of nine children. 
He resigned his ministry in 1724, having become disturbed 
by dissatisfaction among the members, went to England and 
received a captain's commission from the British Crown. 
On his return from England he took up the practice of med- 
icine, filled many town offices, was a sound business adviser, 
and died March 14, 1761. A blue slate slab marks his grave 
in the old part of our village cemetery, on which is this 

Here lies interred the Body of 

Thomas Tousey Esq r 
who Died March 14 1761 
in the 74 th Year of his Age. 
Down to an impartial Grave's devouring shade 
Sink Human Honors and the Hoary Head 
Protract your years, acquire what mortals can 
Here see with deep Concern the End of Man. 

Religious meetings were held in dwelling houses until the 
building of the meeting house the location for which was 
fixed by vote of the town, January 18, 1719, to be where the 


lane that runs easterly and westerly intersects the main 
town street that runs northerly and southerly. That loca- 
tion was near where the flag staff in the village now stands. 
The building was 50 feet in length, 36 feet in breadth and 
20 feet between joints. The cost of it was to be 45 pounds. 
The meeting house remained there until 1792, when it was 
removed to another foundation on which the Congregational 
church now stands. In 1803 the General Court allowed 
the society to raise 3000 dollars by a lottery to be used in 
building a new meeting house, the frame work of which is 
that of the remodeled building of to-day. 

At a Proprietors meeting held December 30, 1740, it was 

"that for y* futur and until y e proprietors of y 6 Common and un 
divided land of said Newtown by their major vote shall order 
otherwise that a warning under y e hands of the proprietors' dark 
for y 6 time being and five of y* proprietors of said common and 
undivided lands in writing set up, one on a tree on ye highway 
near Jonathan Booth's house and one on y 6 sign post near y* 
meeting house and one on a tree on y* highway near James Bots- 
ford's house in s d . Newtown at least six days before s d . meeting 
shall be Deemed a good warning to all intents & purposes. 

Test Job Sherman, Clark. 

Public gatherings were assembled by the beat of the drum 
until the year 1745, when a bell was purchased and hung in 
the meeting house to be used on all public occasions. The 
first house built in which to hold the Church of England 
services was on the plain south of Newtown village and 
was erected in 1732. 

In 1746 the town voted that they might build a house in 
which to worship, on the highway 25 rods south of the 
Presbyterian meeting house. That location was nearly 
opposite the Newtown Inn. In 1790 the town gave liberty 
by vote in town meeting for the Church of England people 
to put a new church on the plot where Trinity church now 


A Sandemanian society was organized in 1740. The 
building in which to hold their services stood midway be- 
tween Mrs. Marcus Hawley's and the Middle district school 
house. The society disbanded in the early years of the last 

The Sandemanians were the followers of one Robert 
Sandeman of New Haven Colony and were looked upon 
with mistrust, so much so, that the General Court of Con- 
necticut at its October session, 1777, passed a "Bill granting 
Liberty to Sandemanian Disciples to abide in the State 
upon Parol, or depart with their Families." The preamble 

"Whereas it appears to this Assembly that Daniel Humphreys, 
Titus Smith, Richard Woodhul, Thomas Goold, Joseph Pyncheon, 
Theophilus Chamberlain Benjamin Smith and William Richmond 
disciples of the late Robert Sandeman residing in New Haven have 
imbibed the opinion that they owe an allegiance to the king of Great 
Britain and that they are bound in conscience to yield obedience to 
his authority, and have signified their desire if they may not continue 
at New Haven to remove to some place under the dominion of said 
Resolved by this Assembly That the said persons and each of 
them may be at liberty to continue in this State upon giving their 
parole of honor that they will not do anything injurious to this 
State or the United States of America or give any intelligence, aid 
or assistance to the British officers or forces at war with this and the 
other United States, or if they decline giving such parole, they, with 
their families household goods apparel and provisions sufficient for 
their passage may remove to any place subject to the government of 
the King of Great Britain, or to New York now occupied by the 
said King's troops." 

Passed in the upper House ) Geo. Willys Sec. 
Concurred in the lower House ' Benja. Payne Clerk. 

The Baptist church and society took its organic form in 
1794, its numerical strength lying largely in the eastern part 
of the town. The church building was located in Zoar near 
the house now owned bv Charles Pratt. 

- 7 6- 

Whenever the history of Xewtown shall be written the 
ecclesiastical history will form a chapter of more than com- 
mon interest. The General Court of the colony made it 
obligatory upon all landed proprietors to raise a yearly 
amount by tax levied upon all rateable property for its 
ministers' support, and one of the first duties required when 
a new town was organized was to provide a minister. 
Salaries paid ranged from 100 pounds down, but never less 
than 50, which might be paid in money, or part in grain, 
wood, or provisions, the money value of which was fixed 
from time to time by the General Court. The Congre- 
gational order of church government was the approved 
order of the General Court, expressed in the Colonial 
Records as follows : 

"We can doe no less than still approve and countenance the same 
to be without disturbance until better light in an orderly way doth 
appear; but yet, forasmuch as sundry persons of worth, prudence 
and piety amongst us are otherwise persuaded (whose welfare 
and peaceable satisfaction we desire to accommodate.) This Court 
doth declare that all such persons being also approved according 
to law as orthodox and sound in the fundamentals of Christian 
religion may have allowance of their persuasion and profession 
in church ways or assemblies without disturbance." 

Attendance at public worship was compulsory, the General 
Court ordering that 

"if any person shall prophane the Sabbath by unnecessary travel 
or playing thereon in the time of public worship, or before, or 
after, or shall keep out of the meeting house during the public 
worship unnecessarily, there being convenient room in the house, 
he shall pay five shillings for every such offense or sit in the stocks 
one hour." 

It was also provided that if there was more than one 
religious assembly in a town all persons should contribute 
to one or both of the societies in the township. 


At the annual town meeting held December 24, 1733, it 
was voted 

"Whereas the Worshipfull Mr Thomas Toucey and ye Reverend 
Mr Elisha Kent have petitioned for Liberty to build upon their own 
Charge each of them a pew in ye meeting house in Newtown for ye 
use of themselves and families as they shall have occasion, the one 
on ye one side of ye Great or South Door, and ye other on ye other 
side thereof, at ye above said meeting voted in ye Affirmative that 
their petition Be Granted, and it is hereby Granted. 

Entered ye date above 

Per Joseph Peck 

Town Clerk 

The first meeting house was put to use before being com- 
pleted, and in 1745 after having been in use for about 
twenty years was made more comfortable by an expenditure 
of two hundred and twenty pounds, some glass windows 
were put in, a bell was procured and hung, thus dispensing 
with the drum that had been used up to that time, to call 
the people together on all public occasions, or in case of an 
alarm being sounded. 

With no way of heating the building in cold weather 
unless with open fireplace it was an uncongenial place either 
as a place of worship or social converse at the luncheon 
hour. It was the uncomfortableness of the first meeting 
houses that made necessary the putting up of what are called 
in the town records "Sabbath Day houses." 

Cothren in his history of Ancient Woodbury says, 

"the Sabbath Day house was a place in which to take refreshments 
between the two church services, and for social and religious worship 
as the occupants might be inclined. It was built in two divisions, 
one for males and the other for females. Some families would have 
houses of their own for private use. These houses were necessary 
because the meeting houses were not warmed." 

From Vol. I of Newtown Records we find there were no 
less than seven Sabbath Day houses on Newtown street in 


the early days. They were all located on the highway, 
permission being given by vote of the freeholders in Town 
meeting. Thinking it may be of special interest we give 
a few of the votes as recorded : 
December 9, 1740, 

"voted and agreed that Jeremiah Northrop shall have liberty to set 
a small Sabbath day house In ye Lane by or against Captain Bald- 
win's orchard." 

Dec. ye 8 1743 

"voted and agreed that Lieutenant Joseph Smith and Caleb Baldwin 
Junr. Shall have Liberty to Build a small house for a Sabbath Day 
House adjoining with Jeremiah Northrop or Separate if they see 
cause. In such place by Capt. Baldwins House Lot in ye Lane not 
to Damnify sd. highway." 

December 3, 1750, 

"voted that Jonathan Sanford shall have Liberty to Build a small 
Sabbath Day house at ye westerly end of John Plat's Sabbath Day 

December 23, 1751, 

"voted that Benjamin Northrop shall have Liberty to Building a 
Sabbath Day house for his use in ye Lane by Captain Baldwin's 
fence of his home Lott Below or something west of Caleb Baldwin's 
Sabbath day house." 

December 3, 1753, 

"voted that Matthew Curtis shall have Liberty to erect or sett up a 
Sabbath Day house in ye Cross Lane by Captain Baldwin's as they 
shall think best by agreement." 

December 30, 1754, 

"voted that Captain Amos Botsford shall have Liberty to Build a 
small house for Sabbath Days, not Doing Damage to ye highway nor 
any other person." 

December 30 A. D. 1754 

"voted in Town Meeting that all ye farmers Belonging to Newtown 
may have Liberty to set a small house for Sabbath Days not Doing 
Damage to ye highways nor any other person." 

John Northrop Town Clerk 

It would be a strange experience for us if, on the morrow, 
we could go into Newtown street and see it as it looked 150 
years ago at the meeting hour, the meeting house standing 
near where the liberty pole now stands, Stephen Parmaly 
beating the drum to call the people together, men coming in 
along the paths or trails on horseback with wife on the 
pillion behind, the children trudging along on foot beside 
them, all enlisted in one common cause, and each in 
sympathy with the other, vanguard of the millions who have 
been following in their wake since the pilgrims landed on 
Plymouth Rock. Almost with holy reverence do we think 
of Newtown's earliest pioneers. 

In 1739, 28 years after the town's incorporation, the 
names of 143 property holders appear on the Grand List, 
and the sum total of taxable property expressed in dollars 
was 46,445 dollars. A poll went in at 90 dollars, a pair 
of oxen 40 dollars, horses, of which there were 202, 
Avere rated at 15 dollars each. A man's trade or business 
had an assessed valuation, varying from 20 to 125 dollars. 
Samuel Sherman's trade was manufacturing and selling 
brooms, on which he was assessed 150 dollars. Widow 
Sarah Beers was assessed 50 dollars on her trade. This was 
taxation without representation. 

Job Northrop was taxed on 50 dollars for "faculty." 
Jehoshaphat Pringle was taxed on 40 dollars for "faculty," 
and Widow Mary Bennett was taxed on 65 dollars for 
"faculty." By "faculty" was meant superior wisdom and 
judgment above that of their neighbors. The legal and 
medical fraternity were not as numerous to consult with 
as now. 

Newtown had no representation at the General Court 
until 1747, when Mr. John Northrop and Capt. Thomas 
Toucey were chosen to represent the town at the General 
Assembly in May following. 

In 1744 Newtown was made a part of the Probate Court 
of Danbury and so continued until 1820. Between those 
two dates all the Probate records pertaining to Newtown 
estates are to be found in the Probate Office at Danbury. 

Newtown's first list of polls and rateable estate returned 
to the General Court in 1747 was $56,790. The population 
of the town at that time was noo souls. 

Rev. David Judson, who was minister in charge of the 
Presbyterian body from 1743 to 1777 (at which time he 
died), has left on record in his own handwriting that in 
1716 there were 30 families in the town, in 1740 there 
were 75 families and in 1770 the number of families in 
Newtown was 350 and about one half of them were of the 
Church of England. In 1740 the rateable assessment of the 
Presbyterians was $39,465 and that of the Church of Eng- 
land men $8,545 or about one-fifth that of the Presbyterians. 

Newtown's population in 1756 was 1253, of which 23 
were slaves. Slavery was in vogue here as elsewhere in 
Connecticut as late as 1804 and we find slaves inventoried 
along with other personal property at valuations ranging 
from 50 to 250 dollars. 

Rev. David Judson, who died in 1777, left a negro man 
and woman valued at 300 dollars, a negro girl, Temperance, 
valued at 140, one Sylvia 100, and a negro boy valued at 
50 dollars. Rev. Thomas Toucey when he died left a wench 
called Happy, who was inventoried at 250 dollars. 

Children born of slave mothers were the property of him 
who owned the mother and were so recorded in the Town 
Records, from which is copied the following : 

Jonathan Booth's servant Dorcas born, January 27 1783. 



We have no means of knowing at how early a period 
slavery was introduced into Newtown, or whether the first 
slaves were brought in by their masters as they moved from 
other plantations or bought direct from traders as they came 
from the coast of Africa. It seems safe to presume, that 
as early as 1735, perhaps earlier, slaves were owned in New- 
town, for we find them inventoried in the settlement of 
estates of those who died at that early date, an able-bodied 
likely negro being apprised at 50 pounds money. There 
are many entries in our town records between the years 1735 
and 1805 of the birth, the sale and the emancipation of 
slaves. These entries are so sandwiched in among other 
matters that it needs much patience and time to compile the 
same for an occasion like the present. As no better idea 
can be found as to the manner of procedure when negro 
slavery was an institution under the law in Newtown, we 
copy from the records of the birth of children of slave 
parents, of the buying and selling, and the emancipation of 

There was never any law enacted forbidding a man giv- 
ing his slave his freedom, but until the year 1777 a man 
emancipating his slave did not free himself from the 
expense of caring for him, in the event of his becoming 
disabled in any way or unable to take care of himself. 

In October, 1777, the General Court then being in session, 
an act called An Emancipation Act was passed by which any 
person owning slaves could call upon the selectmen of the 
town for liberty to free their slave or slaves. Then it 
became the duty of the selectmen to inquire into the age, 
abilities, circumstances and character of such slave, and if 
a major part of them were of the opinion that it would be 
consistent with the real advantage of the slave, and that he 
would probably be able to support himself, and was also of 
good and peaceable life and conversation, a certificate of 
liberty would be given for to set free the slave, which would 


discharge for ever after the former owner or his heirs or 
executors from any charge or cost of maintaining or 
supporting the slave set free. 

Emancipation certificate concerning Dorcas a Negro slave owned 
by John Lott and David Beers. 

Certificate of the Selectmen of Newtown. 

Newtown November n 1799. 

These certify that we have examined into the age and health of 
Dorcas a Negro woman Slave, owned by John Lott & David Beers 
Esq. who is desirous to be made free and we do find on actual 
examination that she, the said Dorcas is in good health and is not of 
greater age than forty five years & is not less than twenty five years, 
but that she, the said Dorcas is about twenty nine years of age. 

Certified by us David Baldwin -* j . 
John Sanford > 
Abijah Curtis J 

Know all men by these presents that we John Lott & David Beers 
of Newtown Fairfield County and State of Connecticut owners of 
a certain negro woman slave named Dorcas aged about twenty nine 
years, for divers good causes & for considerations already received 
to our full satisfaction have thought fit to emancipate & set free the 
said Dorcas, and we do by these presents fully, freely & absolutely 
emancipate, liberate & set free the said Dorcas and the said Dorcas 
is hereby absolutely set free and discharged from our service to all 
intents & purposes. 

It witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands & seals this 
II th day of November 1799 

Signed sealed & delivered in John Lott 

presence of Abijah Curtis David Beers 

John Sanford 

On May 9 1791 Nehemiah Curtis emancipated his Negro slave 
Tobias 30 years old. 

Jan. 6 1794 Captain Solomon Glover emancipated his Negro slave 
Alexander 36 years old. 

January 1794 Stephen Crofut emancipated his negro slave Candace. 

October 10 1804 Jarvis Platt emancipated his negro slave Gilbert 
29 years old 

-8 3 - 

Fairfield County fs Newtown July 30 A.D. 1796. Whereas Mr 
Ebenezer Beers of s d Newtown has this day made application to us 
the subscribers for liberty to Emancipate and make Free his Negro 
man Named Cesar otherwise called Julius Cesar in manner and form 
as prescribed by law having examined the s d Negro who is holden as 
a slave we find that he is desirous to be made free we have also 
enquired into the age and health of the s d Julius Cesar, and on such 
enquiry find that he is in good health and is not of greater age than 
forty five years or less than twenty five years of age. 

Certified by William Edmond 
David Baldwin 


Know all men by these presents 

that I Ebenezer Beers of Newtown County of Fairfield State of 
Connecticut being thereunto legally authorized by virtue of the 
foregoing certificate have Emancipated and made free the said Julius 
Cesar and I do hereby make free, Emancipate and set at liberty the 
s d Cesar and I do hereby for myself and my heirs Relinquish all 
claim to the future subjection, obedience & service of the said Cesar 
and the avails thereof and the said Cesar is hereby fully, freely and 
absolutely acquitted, Discharged Emancipated and made free, as wit- 
ness my hand and seal this 3O th Day of July A D 1796 

Signed sealed & Delivered Ebenezer Beers, 

in presence of 
William Edmond 
David Baldwin. 

May 9 th 1796 Daniel Booth Emancipated his Negro man slave 
Zephaniah, and his Negro Woman slave named Peggy 

On January 6 1800 Philo Toucey emancipated & set free his negro 
slave named Jacob 25 years of age September 6 1799. 
September 16 1799 Mr Reuben Booth & David Booth executors of 
the estate of Jonathan Booth Emancipated & set free a negro slave 
woman thirty seven years old named Lynde in accordance with the 
express will of said deceased. 

"Some entries of the births of the Children of Tobe Curtis by his 
wife Phillis the servant of Caleb Baldwin. Their first born, a 
Daughter named Jenne born in Stratford on the 26 th day of August 

Their son named Joseph Freedom born in Newtown on the 27 th 
day of October A. D. 1784. The s d Joseph Freedom Departed this 
life on the 6 th day of May 1790." 

8 4 

"Elexander Brisco Negro and Peggy Joyned in marriage by the 
Revn d . Mr Rex ford. 
Their first born named Succa 
Their second named Nancy 
Their third named Linda" 


"The birth and Age of the negro children of Daniel Glover. 
Gene was born October 7 th A D 1787 \ 
Peter was born January 30 A D 1788 > Daniel Glover. 
Rose was born December A D 1790 ) 

Fairfield County fs Newtown the 20 th Day of February Anno 1791 
personally appe'ared Mr. Daniel Glover & on oath declared that the 
above named viz. Gene, Peter & Rose were the names of three Negro 
Children born in his house of a Negro wench belonging to him 
Named Nancy & that the above dates were the times severally of 
their births sworn &c before 

John Chandler Assistant Clerk." 

"Benjamin Hawley's negro child Ned, was born October the 6 th 
Day 1788. Fairfield County fs Newtown on the 21 st day of March 
1791 personally appeared M r Benjamin Hawley & on oath Declared 
that the above was a true account of the birth of a negro male child 
which belonged to him by the name of Ned sworn &c before John 
Chandler Justice of the Peace. 

Received to Record 21 st of March 1791. Recorder per. me Caleb 
Baldwin Town Clerk." 

Newtown March 24 1787. 

"Received of Lemuel Sherman and his wife Mary Sherman ten 
pounds lawful money for which I quit claim my Right and title 
during his natural life, and in confirmation I have set my hand and 
in a certain Negro Boy named Ned, to them to have and to hold 
seal in presence of Andrew Fairchild and Prudence Fairchild." 

Ransford Fairchild. 

Bill of sale of Jime, Black Servant of W d Sarah Nichols Reed, to 
record I st of March 1804. Recorded for me Caleb Baldwin Town 
Clerk. To all people to whom these presents shall come, greeting. 
Know ye that I. W d Sarah Nichols of Newtown in Fairfield County, 
for the consideration of fifty dollars received in hand of Titus a 
free negro of the Town of Fairfield to my full satisfaction and 
Content, have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents do 


-8 5 - 

grant, bargain, sell and convey unto Titus free Negro his executors, 
administrators & assigns one certain Negro girl named Jime aged 
about thirty one years to have and to hold said Negro girl, to him 
the said Titus a Free Negro his executors and assigns for and during 
the natural life of the said Negro Girl, & furthermore I, the said 
Sarah Nichols do for myself & heirs warrant the said Negro girl to 
him the said Titus a Free Negro against all just claims and demands 

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this I st Day 
of March AD 1804. 

Sarah Nichols W d . 

Witnesses [L s] 

Joseph Nichols 
Charles Prince. 

Concerning width of highways in and near the town street 
it was voted at a proprietors meeting held February 2 1758, 

"that the highways are to be in width as follows (viz) the town 
street is to be Eight Rods wide from Ebenezer Bristols Dwelling 
house to y 6 Dwelling house of Lieu* Heth Pecks, and y e highways 
on each side of y e land Called the Ram pasture, to be six rods 
wide, and the highways that Leads from the meeting house to Gideon 
Baldwin's meadow East of his house, to be six rods wide, and all 
other places that are for Countery Roads to Be left six rods wide, 
and in all other places within two mild from y e meeting house to be 
four Rod in width except private highways or highways not to be 
much used to be Left two Rods wide." 

Test John Northrop Clerk." 

Cattle, horses, sheep, geese and swine were allowed to 
run at large in the early days though under certain restric- 
tions as for instance on December 19, 1717 it was voted in 
lawful town meeting 

That the Swine belonging to y e Inhabitants of Newtown Shall be 
free Commoners so long as they Do no Damage and y e owners of y e 
Swine to pay Damage whare y e fence is good and according to Law 
& whare y 6 fence is not good y e Owners of Such fences are not to 
Recover any Damage or Poundage and if such Swine are not Sofi- 
ciantly Yoacked after y e first time they Do Damage then y e Owners 
to pay all Damages after y 6 first Time they Do Damge. by Soffi- 

cient yoking to be understood a yoke 9 Inches above y e neck, 4 
Inches below y e neck 6 inches long on each side y e neck if on grown 
Swine and proportionably for Lesser. Swine so Yoaked not to be 
Deamed Damage feazant. This act to continue for two years. 

The raising of sheep was one of Newtown's earliest 
industries, the town owning the flocks, which were kept on 
the common lands, a shepherd being employed to care for 
them, and the profits divided among the proprietaries. The 
first recorded vote we find is under the date 1747, when 

"It was voted that the town of Newtown from time to time, from 
year to year and forever shall take effectual care and see that all the 
Incombs of y e flock of sheep in and beloning to said town over & 
above y e Shepard's wages and insident charges of y 6 flock shall be 
paid to y e above s d proprietors of land in s d Newtown and be divided 
among them according to their several proprietaries 

Test Job Sherman, Clerk." 

Again at a meeting held January ye I5th 1754 it was voted 

"that all of the undivided Land within ye sequesterment so called 
within one mild of ye town street east and west, north and south, 
(it is to be understood that ye town street is to extend from Mr 
John Blackmail's house to Ebenezer's Smith shop,) shall Lay as 
commons for ye use and Benefit of ye Inhabitants of y 6 town of 
Newtown for Keeping a flock of Sheep till y 6 Proprietors shall 
agree otherwise = and the Earnings or Incumbs of the flock of sheep 
over and above what will be y 6 hier of a Sefisant Shepard to keep 
y e flock and all other necessary charges about y e flock shall return 
to y 6 proprietors of y 6 Land and to be Dewided to each proprietor 
according to their Right in propriete = 

Test John Northrop, Clerk." 

At a Proprietors meeting held February 13, 1758, it was 

"voted to lay out another tract of common land without y e two miles 
from y 6 meeting house, each right to be drawn for as heretofore, 
and also power was given the Committee appointed for that purpose, 
to lay out highways where most needful, with full power to make 
recompense out of proprietors' land without the two miles from the 
meeting house to the several persons who might be aggrieved by the 
laying out of said highways on or through their land." 

I I 

i i 

-8 7 - 

The records show that the proprietors, on sober second 
thought, decided they could not meet the expense of addi- 
tional highways and had better let the land be used for a 
sheep pasture for a while longer. The drawing for the 
several pitches was to be made April i, 1758, but at an 
adjourned meeting held March 20, 1758, the following 
Preamble was introduced 

"Whereas at y e first Convention of this meeting February 13 
1758 it was voted to lay out to each proprietor or Right, 
one acre of land in what is called y 6 Commons within y e Compass 
of two miles from y e meeting house and accordingly a Draught 
made, and Committee chosen and y e time set to Begin y e Laying 
out (viz) on y e first of April next, and whereas y e present state of 
Public afairs in y 6 Kingdom throws y 6 British settlements particu- 
larly in this part of American world into Gratest Confusion and 
Involves in y e Gratest Difficualties in which we are Grate Sherors, 
which undoubtedly in point of Duty calls for such Indifferancy of 
spirite towards y e things of this world which is Inconsistent with 
Grasping and reaching after y e same any further than strict necessity 
obliges thereunto and Besides Least when under a burthen next to 
Insupportable by y e addition of a small weight y e Bearer Should 
inadwertently be Depressed so as to be sunk Bneath y e Superficies 
of this terrestrial Globe and such as y e addition att this Day of any 
unnecessary Charge which at another time (viz.) y 6 sunshine of 
prosperity might well be Deemed prudent, necessary and Light. 
This Being supposed to be y e Case, with Respect to y e present 
speedy Laying out s d acre and whereas y 6 sudden or speedy Laying 
out s d Acre Dewission and bringing y e same into and under par- 
ticular Improvement must unavoidably put y e Biger part of y 6 people 
and Inhabitants of this Town into a surprise by Laying them under 
a Grate Disadvantage in not Giving of them time to turn themselves 
in making sutable prowission in their Inclosures, each to keep his 
own flock. 

It is therefore agreed and voted upon y e view and Reasons above 
mentioned that y 6 above said Dewision of one acre shall Remain as 
at present it is unlaid out for y e space of two years from this Date 
and that when it shall be Laid out att y e expiration of s d two years 
and not before It shall Lye two years more making from this Date 
four years open without enclosure particular or otherwise, always 
provided that y 6 proprietors in or of common Land be not, by any 



Dewices of y e owners of y e flock, as by hireing Shepards on or for 
y 6 same or otherwise be Defrauded of their just Incombs from y* 
flock Pursuant to a vote not Long since passed by y 8 proprietors of 
y e Sheep in Newtown but that y 6 said wote During s d four years be 
honestly and faithfully put in Execution according to y 6 true Intent 

Provided also that Effectual Care be taken by y 6 proprietors of y e 
sheep that y 6 flock be not Laid upon what is called foul meadow 
unless it be y 6 Dryer sort thereof and in very Dry season." 
Voted in y e Affirmative 

Test John Northrop Clark. 

In the early days the people were by force of circum- 
stances obliged to depend upon themselves in meeting sick- 
ness, accident, distress or destitution. The minister not only 
was expected to attend to their spiritual needs, but was 
medical and legal adviser as well. Drug stores were a thing 
unknown. The rafters under the long low slanting roofs 
were adorned with bunches of herbs drying for winter use, 
to be resorted to for all conceivable diseases and accidents 
that flesh is heir to hard hack, boneset, tansy, dock root, 
live-for-ever, cumfrey root, without stint or measure. 
Among the old headstones in the Newtown Cemetery is one 
with this inscription. 

Sacred to the Memory 

of Mr Lemuel Thomas 

for many Years a skillful 

& useful practitioner of 

Surgery and Physic. 

Who Departed this 

Life Septem. 30 A. D. 

1775 ^Etat 48. 

Undoubtedly the earliest practitioner of surgery and physics 
the town ever had. He had his house on the highway, west 
side of the road, midway between the Middle District school 
house and the corner. He was married by the Rev. David 
Judson, September I5th, 1756, to Mary Foot. Their chil- 


dren were, Lucy, born July 17, 1757 ; James, born January 
29, 1759 ; Lemuel, born December 2, 1760, and Anna, born 
January 5, 1767. Born in 1727 and commencing practice 
before he was thirty years of age, we can see how strong 
a hold he had upon the people of the community by the 
following vote taken. 
At a Proprietors meeting held March 16, 1757, 

"voted and agreed by y e majority of y e proprietors present, that 
Doctor Lemuel Thomas may have Liberty to take up two acres & 
a half of Land in y e Town Street for a horse pastuer Between 
y e School house at y e South end of y e town and Mr John Fabreques 
Dwelling House Leaving a 8 rod highway on y 6 east side thereof, 
and s d Doctor Thomas shall possess s d two acres and a half of Land 
and Improve y e same as Long as he shall Continue in this town 
and practising Doctering among us, and if he should lay aside 
Doctering as aforesaid or Remove out of s d Town y 6 s d Land to 
Return to y e proprietors again, he taking away his fence." 

voted in y e affirmative Test John Northrop Clark. 

"voted that Capt. Henry Glover, Mr Benjamin Curtiss, & Mr Abel 
Booth is chosen a Committee In behalf of y e proprietors to Give 
Doctor Lemuel Thomas a Lease of y e Land he had Liberty to take 
up as appears by y e act of y 6 proprietors made March i6 th 1757. 
voted and agreed that Capt. John Glover, Lieut. Thomas Skidmore 
& Mr Abel Booth Shall Be & be hereby chosen a Committee In Behalf 
of y 6 proprietors to examin & search in to y 6 state of y e Land by 
y 6 Grate River not Included in Quiump purchase and to purchase 
said Land of y 6 Indians if they Can for y e proprietors." 

In December, 1776, the town voted that a town house, 32 
feet long, 24 feet wide and 9 feet between joints should 
be built. Oliver Toucey took the job for 300 dollars. He 
was to make in it as good seats as are generally made in 
form as in the State House in Hartford. He should light 
the house with 30 windows, 15 squares of glass in a 
window, size of glass to be 7 x 9. The building was located 
on the same site as where the first one stood. 

To those who are familiar with Longfellow's poem, 
"Evangeline," it may be interesting to know that Newtown 

was obliged to care for one family from Grand Pre from 
1756 to 1762. 

There can be little doubt that the first Roman Catholics 
who came into Newtown came in 1756, not from choice, 
but from compulsion. 

When France ceded Acadia, now Nova Scotia, to the 
English the Acadians chose to remain, though they had free 
choice to leave any time within two years. They refused to 
take the oath of allegiance to the British king, though they 
did take the oath of fidelity. They were exempted from 
bearing arms against their countrymen in Canada, and 
allowed to enjoy their own religion, which was Roman 

The British government finally decided to remove the 
Acadians, confiscate their property and scatter them among 
their colonies on the Continent, and 300 were assigned to 
the Connecticut Colony and were landed at New London 
in 1756. The General Court at its January session in 1756 
in New Haven passed an act for distributing and well 
ordering the French people sent into the colony from Nova 
Scotia. Four were assigned to Newtown. They were 
known as the neutral French and were cared for at the 
town's expense. Every year for six years their records 
show resolutions that were passed for the care of the French 
family called neutrals. The town built them a house and 
provided for all their needs. It could not turn them off, 
nor could they go out of the town without its consent. 
The boy of the family was finally bound out for a term of 
years to Zadock Sherman, and the man Paul and his wife 
were allowed by vote (of the town) to go visiting their 
friends, relations or acquaintances. As the town could 
not turn them adrift, they voted to allow them to go visiting, 
as shrewd diplomacy as any of the present day. 

During the Revolutionary war Newtown was free from 
any and all raids of the enemy. A large percentage of the 


population was in complete sympathy with the mother 
country, so much so that they were tones in name and deed, 
and in some cases their property was confiscated and 
reverted to the colony, the Probate records showing in- 
stances to the point. One man, Robert Thompson, of New- 
town was hanged in June, 1777, as a spy, the order of his 
execution being given by Brig. Gen. Samuel H. Parsons, and 
returns were made that the execution had been duly per- 

All through the war period our town records abound with 
doings of frequent town meetings when provision was made 
for meeting the conditions called for by the colony in raising 
the town's quota of men and its proportion of food products 
for the forces in the field, .and providing for families of 
soldiers enlisted in the service from Newtown. In the state 
archives we find among the names of Newtown's honor roll, 
John Chandler, Colonel of the 8th Regiment, formed in 
1777, afterward Superintendent of the Conn. Line, and 
after the war Brigadier General of the state militia. Col. 
Chandler of the 8th Regiment was in the battles of Long 
Island and White Plains. 

In the 8th Company, Fifth Regiment, we find the names 
Joseph Smith, Captain, Jabez Botsford, Lieutenant, enlisted 
in 1775, and Ephraim Kimberly ist Lieutenant. 

In Sheldon's Dragoons we find the names of William 
Whitby and Ezekiel Bennett, each enlisted for three years 
from March 1781. Capt. Ephraim Kimberly in the 
Society of the Cincinnati, and Fitch Kimberly in the Regi- 
ment of Artificers, enlisted for three years, and Thomas 
Brooks enlisted in 1777 for the war. 

In the 1 6th Regiment of the Conn. Militia was Capt. 
Caleb Baldwin, promoted to Major in 1778, and Samuel 
Brooks, who served in Col. Lamb's artillery from April 
1777 to 1781. 


At a town meeting held in February, 1778, it was voted 

"that the salt belonging to this Town purchased by the State shall 
be transported from Bedford in Boston state to this place at the 
expense of the town, and that in a manner that the selectmen shall 
think most expedient and safe, either by land or water." 

Also voted 

"that the selectmen shall take care of the pig iron allowed to this 
Town by the state that it is forwarded in the best manner to the 
most convenient forge, and procure the same wrought into bar iron 
and then brought into the town at the town's expense and divide 
the same to the inhabitants according to the list in the several school 

In January, 1778, at a meeting called to consider upon, 
and if agreeable to their minds, to assent to the Articles of 
Confederation drawn up and sent by Congress to the 
several states agreeable to a requisition of His Excellency 
the Governor, it was voted, 

"Having particularly considered every article by itself we unani- 
mously approve of every article of confederation as sent by Congress 
to the several states. Resolved that the Representatives of this town 
transmitt the votes of this meeting to the Gen. Assembly of this 
state approving of every article of Confederation of the United 
States in Congress as the sense of this town that the Delegates of 
this state be improwered by said Assembly to Ratify and confirm 
the same in Congress." 

Maj. Caleb Baldwin, Capt. Joseph Smith and Henry Peck 
were Newtown's representatives to the General Assembly 
for that year. 
In July 1779 the town voted 

"that the Committee appointed for supplying the officers and 
soldiers' families now in Continental service agreeable to a resolve 
of the General Assembly May 1779 make and adjust each man's 
proportion (obliged by law to pay rates in Newtown) of the sum 
of 108 pounds and that they call on the inhabitants of the town 
to return to them immediately or at a convenient season said dividend 


for the use of said families. Also voted that this meeting has no 
objection to the wives and families of Ephraim Betts and Elias 
Skidmore repairing to Long Island there to tarry with their husbands 
going under the direction and Authority of the Selectmen." 

Some insubordination existed in Xewtown in 1778, as is 
shown by this act passed by the General Assembly. 

"Upon a representation made to this Assembly that the three alarm 
list companies formed within the limits of the first society of New- 
town in the i6th regiment having sometime since made choice of 
persons for their officers inimical to this and the other United States 
of America, who for that reason were refused commissions, and also 
that the officers of the third military company of said regiment in 
said town have either given in their commissions or wholly neglect 
and refuse to execute their offices whereby all the said companies 
are destitute of officers and by that means not in a condition to be 
called upon to perform military duty for the defence of the country. 
Resolved by this Assembly that the colonel or chief officer of said 
regiment be directed and he is hereby ordered and directed to cause 
legal warning to be given said companies as soon as may be, to meet 
for the purpose of choosing commission officers and lead or order 
them to be led to such choice for their respective companies, and in 
case they neglect or refuse to elect such persons as are qualified 
according to the laws of this state to execute such offices that then the 
civil authority in, and selectmen of Newtown, with the advice of said 
colonel or chief officer are hereby impowered and directed forthwith 
to nominate such officers as may be necessary, which choice or nomi- 
nation shall by said colonel or chief officer be returned to this 
Assembly or in the recess thereof to his Excellency the Governor, 
who is desired to commissionate them accordingly; which officers 
shall immediately proceed to detach their quota of men for 
the Continental army as soon as the field officers of said regiment 
have proportioned them to the respective companies, which they 
are hereby directed to do." 

At the meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety at 
Hartford in October, 1779, it was resolved 

"That the selectmen of the town of Newtown receive from Joseph 
Hopkin, Esq., of Waterbury ten fire arms belonging to this state, 
150 pounds of gun powder from the keeper of powder belonging to 


this state in Ripton, and also 300 flints of Capt George Smith of 
Hartford, they passing their receipt therefore, said selectmen to be 

"Per order of Major Caleb Baldwin, Also upon the memorial of 
Samuel Hazzard a refugee from the city of New York now resident 
in town of Newtown showing that when he left New York, he left 
with some of his friends on Long Island considerable effects belong- 
ing to himself and family, and praying to have liberty to go on to 
said island and bring off his said effects. Resolved that the said 
Samuel Hazzard have liberty and liberty is hereby granted to him 
to go on to Long Island for the purpose of bringing away said 
effects, he conforming himself to the directions of Thaddeus Betts, 
Esqr., of Norwalk, under whose care and inspection he is to conduct 
in the affair. 

Permit of Col Chandler." 

At a town meeting held in December, 1779, it was voted 
concerning unfriendly persons taking the oath of fidelity, 

"that the selectmen for the time being, lay before the next General 
Assembly of the state of Connecticut either by memorial or some 
other manner, the circumstances and true situation of this town in 
regard to those unfriendly persons in said town together with the 
reasons of the friends to the libertys of America in this town casting 
their protest against the Town Clerk entering those unfriendly per- 
sons names in the list of those that have taken the oath of fidelity." 

In 1780 

"voted that Abraham Bennett shall be committee to supply the family 
of Lieut Ephraim Kimberly the year ensuing as a soldier in the 
Continental service; also that Lieut Amos Terrill be committee to 
supply the family of Elijah Foote a soldier in the Continental ser- 
vice; also Eli Dunning be committee for the purpose of putting up 
flour in this town for continental use, and that Capt Jabez Botsford 
shall be committee for the purpose of providing barrels and putting 
up the beef and pork required by law for continental use. Voted 
that David Botsford shall be committee of cloathing for the Con- 
tinental soldiers. In 1781 voted, in order to raise the eight men 
required for the year's service to defend the Post at Horseneck we 
proceed in the same manner as is directed for the continental 


Enough has been quoted from records to show that the 
inhabitants of the town were kept busy in meeting the state's 
demand for men and means to help prosecute the war, and 
although there was a marked sentiment of disloyalty in the 
community, yet as a town, Newtown did her full share with- 
out drafting during the Revolutionary period and some of 
its foremost men have their names on Connecticut's honor 
roll; as Col. John Chandler, 8th Regiment, Hon. William 
Edmond, who was in the fight at Ridgefield when Col. 
Wooster was killed, and received a bullet wound that lamed 
him for life ; Lieutenant Jabez Botsford, Lieutenant Eph- 
raim Kimberly, and Captain Caleb Baldwin promoted to 
major. The military records of the state show that as late 
as the year 1800 there were eight Revolutionary pensioners 
living in Newtown: Mary Botsford aged 82, Abigail 
Davis 78, Jerusha Crittenden 80, Sarah Colburn 77, Kellog 
Berry 77, and Eunice Taylor 82 years of age. 

In 1774 Newtown's population was 2229; 1782, 2404; 
1790, 2764; 1800, 2903. 

Newtown had no representation at the General Court in 
1776. The Public Records of the state of Connecticut, in 
the list of names of representatives from the several towns, 
has the name Newtown with a blank before it. 

History does not tell us whether there was no election, or 
whether, if so, those elected refused to take the oath of 

The assembly met in October. It was a solemn as well 
as a serious time. Questions of great import were likely to 
come up, that would call for drastic action. On the pre- 
vious fourth of July the Declaration of Independence had 
been signed. 

The first resolution passed by the assembly when they 
met in New Haven in October following was 

"That we approve of the Declaration of Independence published by 
said Congress, and that this Colony is and of right ought to be, a 

free and Independent state, and the inhabitants thereof, are absolved 
from all allegiance to the British Crown, and all political connections 
between them and the king t>f Great Britain is, and ought to be 
totally dissolved." 

At this same session an act was passed for prescribing and 
enjoining an oath of fidelity to the state, and in order that we 
may fully understand what the act meant in its entirety, we 
give in full the prelude and the law as enacted by the Gen- 
eral Court. 

"Whereas the King of Great Britain hath abdicated the govern- 
ment of this and the other United States of America by putting 
them out of his protection, and unjustly levying war against them, 
and the said United States by their representatives in General Con- 
gress assembled, by a Declaration bearing date the fourth day of 
July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, for the reasons 
therein mentioned solemnly declared that the united Colonies of 
North America are and of right ought to be free and independent 
states and that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state 
of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved, which Declara- 
tion is approved by this Assembly. Wherefore it is expedient for 
the security of this State that an oath of fidelity be taken by the 
freemen and officers thereof." 

The oath is as follows : 

"Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives in 
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same That 
all the members of the General Assembly and other officers civil and 
military,, and freemen within the State of Connecticut, shall take 
the following oath : viz, You A.B. do swear by the ever living 
God that you will truly and faithfully adhere to and maintain the 
government established in this State under the Authority of the 
people, Agreeable to the laws in force within the same ; and that you 
believe in your conscience that the King of Great Britain hath 
not, nor of right ought to have, any authority or dominion in or over 
this State; and that you do not hold yourself bound to yield any 
allegiance or obedience to him within the same ; and that you will, to 
the utmost of your power, maintain and defend the freedom, in- 
dependence and privileges of this State against all open enemies 


or traitorous conspiracies whatsoever So help you God. And 
no person shall have authority to execute any of the offices aforesaid 
after the first day of January next until he hath taken said oath: 
and all persons who hereafter shall be appointed to any of said 
offices shall take said oath before they enter on the execution of 
their offices. And no freeman within this State shall be allowed 
to vote in the election of any of the officers of government until 
he hath taken the aforesaid oath in the open freeman's meeting 
in the town where he dwells ; and the names of all the freemen 
who take said oath shall be inrolled by the town clerk in the records 
of the town, which oath shall be administered by a magistrate or 
justice of the peace." 

The above enactment went into effect January I, 1777. 
The General Assembly of Connecticut met annually in May 
and October. 

At the May session of 1777, Newtown was not repre- 
sented in the Legislature, as no one in Newtown had, up to 
that time, taken the oath of fidelity, and we have only to 
open the records to find that the freemen of Newtown were 
slow in conforming to the requirements of the law. Let us 
not be too severe at this distant day in denouncing those who 
delayed or refused, as being traitorous at heart in the mean- 
ing of that word in its broadest sense. Let us rather be 
charitable, and think, that as a rule, each one was governed 
by the dictates of his conscience doing as he thought right, 
as God gave him to see the right. 

The records show that between August 25, 1777, and 
April 12, 1790, when the record closes, only 337 of New- 
town's freemen took the oath of fidelity. It cannot help but 
be interesting to the historian, as well as to our own town's- 
people, to have the list given in full ; interesting too, to see 
how many of the old family names of almost two hundred 
years ago are still household words with us. Notice the 
record under each date as the months went by, and see how 
the tide ebbed and flowed as men struggled with conscience 
in marking out the path of duty. 

"Newtown August 25 1777 Personally appeared and took the 
oath of fidelity before me, Jabez Botsford Justice of the Peace" 
"Caleb Baldwin Junr, the Town Clerk." 

A noble example of one of Newtown's foremost men, who 
always dared to lead where any dared to follow. Draw on 
our imagination all we will, who of us, at this distant day, 
can realize the dignity, the solemnity, of the scene when the 
first little band of eight freemen stood before the gallant 
leader they had in the Town Clerk, and with uplifted hand, 
swore before the ever living God to uphold, and defend if 
need be with their lives, the cause espoused as set forth in 
the Declaration of Independence. 

Dates when taken, and names of those who took the oath 
of fidelity in Newtown before Caleb Baldwin Justice of the 
Peace, as well as Town Clerk. 

August 25, 1777 Jabez Botsford Esqr, George Terrill, Lieut. Ben- 
jamin Summers, Richard Fairman, James Fairchild Junr, Fitch Kim- 
berly, Moses Shepherd, Elijah Botsford. 

August 26 Lieut. Nathanael Brisco, John Botsford, Lieut. Henry 

August 27 Nathanael Barnum, September i Eleazer Burritt, 
Matthew Curtis, Joshua Northrop, Josiah Bardslee, Abel Baldwine, 
Capt. Jonathan Northrop, Amos Burritt, Elijah Fott, Eli Dunning, 
Henry Wood, David Baldwin, Gideon Botsford, Silas Hubbell, 
Oliver Fairchild. 

September 4 Matthew Curtiss Junr, Jeptha Hubbell, Henry Peck 
Esqr, Ephraim Sherman, Abraham Bennitt Junr, Jared Botsford, 
Asa Cogswell, James Fairchild, Capt. Benjamin Dunning, Deacon 
Abraham Bennitt, Samuel Brown, Matthew Baldwin, Ezra Peck, 
Capt. Joseph Wheeler, Abraham Botsford, Lieut. Amos Terrill, 
Jared Dunning, Joshua Hatch, Capt. Joseph Smith, Nathan Sherman, 
Moses Platt, Silas Fairchild, Ebenezer Fairchild, Ebenezer Smith, 
Enos Northrop, Doctor James Sanford, Josiah Platt, Jonathan 
Beardslee, Abraham Baldwin, David Terrill, Capt. Richard Smith, 
Nirum Summers. 

October 4 Levy Bostwick, Ephraim Jackson, Job Bunnill, Ger- 
shum Jackson, Samuel Hawley, David Jackson Junr, Ezra Birch, 
James Prindle, Ezra Dunning, Abraham Kimberly, Clement Bots- 

ford, Thomas Sharp, David Jackson, Joseph Gunn, John Keeler, 
Abel Smith, David Peck, Abraham Lewes, Abel Gunn, Isaac Hawley, 
Isaac Hawley Junr, Rev. Mr. Thomas Brooks, Nathan Burritt, Amos 
Northrop, Capt. Abel Botsford, Gamaliel French, Thomas Ford, 
John Skidmur, Nathan Washbon, James Glover, Eleazer Lacy, 
David Curtiss, Daniel Sherman, Nathaniel Bunnill, Daniel Morriss, 
Roger Hendryx, Col. John Chandler, Reuben Dunning, Reuben 
Taylor, Silas Hepburn, John Johnson, Abel Johnson, Joseph Bots- 
ford, Edward Foot, John Bostwick, Andrew Northrop, David Jud- 
son, Nathan Camp, David Botsford, Capt. Joseph Hepburn, Samuel 
Beardslee Junr, Elijah Hard, John Bassitt, Amos Shepherd, Doctor 
Preserve Wood, George Northrop, Eli Wheeler, Gideon Botsford 
Junr, Elijah Stillson, Joseph Hard, Birdsy Glover, Andrew Beers, 
Joseph Stillson, Gideon Dunning, George Shepard, George Northrop, 
Josiah Hays. 

1778 Daniel Glover, Capt. Joseph Prindle, Lazarus Prindle, David 
Meeker, Cyrus Prindle, Jabez Baldwin, Abraham Baldwin, William 
Allin, John Smith. 

1779 John Hard, George Foot Junr, Theophilus Nichols, William 
Edmond, Livinus Peck, John Beach, Josiah Beardslee Junr, Jotham 
Sherman, James Shepard, Joel Prindle, Abiel Booth, Thomas 
Wheeler, Birdsey Glover, Zalmon Peck, John Hard, Andrew Stillson, 
Joshua Peck, David Hinman, Matthew Hall. 

1781 Nehemiah Strong. 

1782 Amos Bennitt, Abel Foot, Reuben Terrill, Hezekiah Dayton, 
John Summers, John Blackman Junr, Josiah Fairchild, Abel Skid- 
more, Amos Sherman, Nehemiah Curtiss, Abijah Curtiss, Stephen 
Crofoot, Francis Peirce, Benjamin Curtiss. 

In 1783 there seems to have been a great change of 
sentiment as 93 took the oath of fidelity, viz. : 

John Fabrique, Jehosaphat Prindle, Ezra Sherman, George Sample, 
Hezekiah Booth, Capt. Peter Nichols, Capt. John Glover, Junr. 
Zalmon Booth, Cyrus Beers, Cyrenius Hard, Amos Hard, Nirum 
Hard, Rueben Booth Solomon Glover, Ichabod Fairman, Joseph 
Foot, Henry Glover Junr. Elisha Wooster, Zalmon Tousey Junr. 
Salmon Curtiss, Stephen Burwell Jr., James Thomas, Anson Hard, 
Levi Peck, Job Crawford, John Beach Jr., Truman Blackman, 
Caleb Bennitt, Theophilus Botsford, Salmon Glover, Roger 
Terrill, Nathaniel Peck, Daniel Terrill, Elijah Peck, Alpheus 
Fairchild, Curtis Hard, Andrew Griffin, Abel Winton, Abraham 


Wheeler, Truman Sherman, Reuben Curtiss, James Foot, Elias 
Beardslee, Philo Parmalee, Timothy Treadwell, Eli Peck, Nirom 
Curtiss, Abraham Booth, Nathaneal Judson, Amos Griffin, Isaac 
Tousey, Samuel Beers, Nathaniel Northrop, Daniel Clark Sanford, 
Daniel Humphrey, Capt. Ephraim Kimberly, William Hall, Josiah 
Blackman, Jonathan Booth, Capt. John Blackman, Capt. Henry 
Glover, James Bennitt, Zachariah Clark, Isaac Trowbridge, Abel 
Ferris, Heth Griffin, 

1784 Abel Booth, Peter Lake, Ephraim Lake, Joseph Bristol, Seth 
Fairchild, Philo Tousey, William Burwell, Philo Fairchild, Abraham 
Beers, Abel Prindle, Asa Chambers, Abel Tousey, John Walker, 
Jabez Peck, Philo Curtis, Samuel Sanford, Elias Glover, William 
Northrop, Ebenezer Booth, Luther Harris, Wait Northrop, Drake 
Northrop, Benjamin Hawley, Noadiah Warner, Samuel French, 
Amial Peck, Samuel Peck. 

1785 Theophilus Hurd, John Beers Junr, Benjamin Stillson, 
Elijah Nichols, Thomas Stillson, Philo Norton, George Peck, Enos 
Johnson, Obadiah Wheeler, Elias Beers, Joseph Bennitt Wheeler, 
Moses Botsford, Curtis Waimvright, Nathaneal Briscoe Junr. Peter 
Clark Hull, Abijah Hard. 

1787 Daniel Baldwin, Robert Summers, Gold Curtiss, Zenas 
Washburn, Daniel Botsford, Vine Botsford, William Birch Junr. 
Eldad Jenny, James Hendryx, Jabez Beers, Samuel Trowbridge. 

1788 Donald Tousey, David Tousey. 

1789 Zadock Fairchild, Jonathan Fairchild, David Booth. 

1790 John Winthrop Chandler, Moses Kent Botsford, Clement 
Fairchild, Ezekiel Fairchild. 

When by order of Congress a loan office was established 
in each of the United States to receive such monies as might 
be offered for loan, and commissioners were appointed 
in the respective towns to receive loans, for which they 
should deliver over to the lenders loan certificates bearing 
four per cent, interest and payable in three years, Caleb 
Baldwin, Esq., was appointed Commissioner for Newtown, 
and our town records show that there were a few loans made 
to help furnish the Continential army with the needed sinews 
of war, as the following receipts given by the Commissioner 
will show : 


"Newtown June 23, 1778 Received of Mr. Aaron McGregory for 
Continental Loan office the sum of seventy dollars." 

"Newtown July 6 1778 Received of Thomas Brooks Junr. for 
Continental Loan office the sum of thirty eight Pounds ten shillings." 

"Newtown August 10 1778 Received of Mr Josiah Beardslee for 
Continental Loan office the sum of one hundred pounds money." 

"Newtown October 26 1778 Received of Mrs Mary Judson for 
Continental Loan office the sum of fifty seven dollars and two 
thirds of a dollar. 

(Mrs Judson was widow of Rev. David Judson.)" 

"Newtown December 8 1778 Received of Mr Jonathan Fairchild 
for Continental Loan office the sum of six hundred dollars." 

"Newtown April 21 1779 Received of Mrs. Sarah Baldwin for 
Continental Loan office the sum of 100 dollars." 

"Newtown April 28 1779 Received of Mrs Mary Robson for Con- 
tinental Loan office the sum of one hundred dollars." 

"Newtown May 31 1779 Received of Mr Caleb Baldwin Junr. 
State Certificate Containing one hundred and seventy seven dollars 
property of Capt. Joseph Smith, and of Certificate Estates two 
Hundred dollars, and of school money, seventy five dollars, and 
of Mr Caleb Baldwin Sixty three dollars. 

Abel Botsford." 

In all, there are nine loans recorded on our town records, 
two of which were made by women. 

In the campaign of 1781 Count de Rochambeau marched 
his army from Providence, R. I., to Bedford, N. Y., in the 
month of June. He was on his way to join Gen. Washing- 
ton in his operations against Lord Cornwallis. They 
encamped at Woodbury on the night of June 27 and reached 
Newtown on the 28th and remained until Sunday, July I, 
when they broke camp and proceeding through Ridgebury 
reached Bedford, N. Y., Monday, July 2, ready to join their 
forces with the main army. The army marched in regi- 
ments until reaching Newtown, following one another at 
intervals of a day's march or at a distance of about 15 miles. 
Their stay in Newtown was cut short by urgent orders from 
Gen. Washington to hasten toward the Hudson river. 
There was no rest except what was imperatively necessary 


and some of the French officers set the example of walking 
the whole distance at the head of their regiments. The 
officers wore coats of white broadcloth trimmed with green, 
white under dress and hats with two corners instead of 
three like the cocked hats worn by the American officers, 
paid all their expenses in hard money, committed no depre- 
dations and treated the inhabitants with great civility and 
propriety. "History of the Catholic Church in the New 
England States." 

According to the Magazine of American History the 
army numbered 600 artillery, 600 cavalry and 3600 infantry, 
4800 men in all. While they were in Newtown five men 
deserted from their ranks. Their encampment was on the 
plain and hillside near Mrs. Philo Clark's, southwest of our 
village. Esquire Lamson Birch, who died some 50 years 
ago and who lived upon that plain, remembered many inci- 
dents connected with Revolutionary times and he confirmed 
the statement that there was an encampment of French 
soldiers near his father's house, as did also Aunt Ann Foote, 
who in Revolutionary days lived in a house that stood where 
Mrs. Barney Kelly now lives. There were two divisions 
of the French army passed through Newtown at different 
times. Aunt Mary Ann Glover, as every one called her, 
born in 1776 and dying in 1878 aged 102 years, claimed to 
remember distinctly an encampment of French soldiers on 
this plain east of the village where we now are, and she also 
remembers the celebration of the proclamation of peace 
when an ox was roasted whole at the head of Newtown 
street. The second passage of a French army through 
the town was under Gen. LaFayette marching from the 
Hudson river across to Boston, when they encamped in 
Newtown over night. One needs only to bear in mind that 
Newtown lies on the direct inland course from Hartford 
to the Hudson river at Peekskill to see, that of necessity 
the moving of troops in either direction, from the eastern 
coast to the Hudson river or from the Hudson river to 


the eastern coast, would take them through Newtown. The 
passage of French troops that Aunt Mary Ann Glover 
referred to was under Gen. LaFayette, under marching 
orders from Gen. Washington to go from Peekskill to Bos- 
ton. They encamped on the plain between the village and 
the railroad station, and as she said, when they took up 
marching orders, went eastward over the hill through 
Sandy Hook on their way to Hartford, the bristling bayo- 
nets as they climbed the hill left the lasting impression on 
her mind that she often spoke of in her later years. 

The following correspondence that passed between the 
Commander-in-chief and Count de Rochambeau when the 
later was en route towards the Hudson river, confirms the 
statement that the French army did pass through Newtown 
and encamped here, thus removing everything that might 
seem but a myth in connection with such a statement. On 
the army passing from Boston westward it reached Hart- 
ford on the 22d of June, 1781, as the following letter and 
the reply to it will show, together with other interesting 
correspondence a few days later on when the army reached 

"Hartford 23, June 1781. 

*I arrived here yesterday with the first regiment which has been 
followed this day by the second and will be so to-morrow by the 
third and the day after by the fourth. I shall stay here this day and 
to-morrow to give time for our broken artillery carriages to be 
mended and our young artillery horses and oxen to refresh them- 
selves. I shall set off the day after to-morrow with the first regi- 
ment for Newtown, the army to march in four divisions on before 
and I shall probably arrive there on the 28th and stay the 2Qth and 
3Oth to assemble the brigade and march in two divisions to the 
North River. The corps of Lauzun will march as far advanced as 
my first division through Middletown, Wallingford, North Haven, 
Ripton and North Stratford, in which last place it will be on the 
28th. I have the honor, &c., 

The Count de Rochambeau. 

His Excellency George Washington. 

*From Magazine of American History. 


Camp near Peekskill, 27 June 1781. 

Sir: I have the honor of receiving your Excellency's favor of the 
23d instant from Hartford. It would have given me the greatest 
pleasure could I have made it convenient to meet you at Newtown, 
but independently of many arrangements which are necessary at the 
first taking of the field, I am detained by the hourly expectation of 
the Chevalier-de-la-Lauzun. I am pleased to find that your idea of 
the position which will be proper for the troops under your command 
coincides with my own and I shall be happy in giving your quarter- 
master general every assistance in reconnoitering and making out 
your camp. Lieutenant Col Cobb, one of my aids-de-camp, will have 
the honor of delivering this letter and will return to me with any 
dispatch or message your Excellency may wish to communicate, or 
should you rather incline to come forward from Newtown before 
the army Col Cobb will be proud to attend you. I shall be much 
obliged if your Excellency will present to Count de Barras by the 
next occasion my sincere thanks for the readiness with which he was 
pleased to accept the proposition I had the honor to make him 
through your Excellency. I am, &c., 

George Washington. 

The Count de Rochambeau. 

Headquarters Peekskill, 
June 30 1781. 

Dear Sir : The enclosed letter to Count de Rochambeau is of very 
great importance and requires the utmost secrecy in its communica- 
tion. This idea you will convey to the Count before its delivery, 
to affect which you will first converse with the chevalier Chastellux 
on the mode of its communication. 

Its object is to inform the Count that I have in contemplation a 
very sudden surprise of some part of the army which will be of very 
great importance in our operations and which we have flattering 
expectations of obtaining, to cover and support which, if obtained, 
we shall want the aid of the French army, in which case it will be 
necessary for the Count to push on his troops with greater haste 
than he at present intends, and by a different route from that now 
in view. The Duke de Lauzun's legion is to advance. The 
movements which I would wish to be made by the French army are 
particularized in my letter to the Count which you will see. It will 
be for you to impress the gentlemen with the importance of their 
motions to support our operations, as it will be to little purpose 
for us to obtain advantages which we may not be able to maintain. 


As the Count with his troops is now in a very disaffected part 
of the country and the Tories will be desirous to give any informa- 
tion in their power, the most profound secrecy will be necessary. 
Secrecy and dispatch must prove the soul of success to the enterprise. 
This idea you must impress with energy using your best discretion 
in the mode. I am, &c., 

George Washington. 
Lieutenant Colonel David Cobb. 

Reply : 

Newtown, June 30, 1781. 

Sir : I was at Count de Rochambeau's this evening when I received 
your Excellency's dispatches. General Chastellux was immediately 
sent for, and the heads of departments consulted on the new intended 
route of the Army. The Count inquired whether your Excellency 
was acquainted with the removal of the Yagers and some other troops 
from Long Island to New York. I assured his Excellency was 
perfectly acquainted with it and all the other movements of the 
enemy at New York and that your Excellency would never under- 
take a matter of this kind but upon certain intelligence and the 
surest ground of success. The Count was perfectly satisfied with 
the plan proposed and assured me that duty as well as inclination 
prompted him to comply with your Excellency's wishes. Orders 
are accordingly given for the march of the first brigade in the 
morning, and the Duke's legion which is now at New Stratford will 
undoubtedly march at the same time. It will be at the place of 
destination at the time proposed, 12 o'clock. 

The rest of the army will follow when the other division arrives 
which comes up to-morrow. The Count in his letter wishes an 
answer from your Excellency by to-morrow night. It would be 
more agreeable if it came sooner. I am, &c., David Cobb. 

His Excellency General Washington. 


On July i, the French army broke camp in Newtown and 
proceeding westward joined Washington's army on July 6, 
at Phillipsburg, Westchester County, where the American 
troops were resting in two lines along the Hudson river. 
From there the allied troops marched to King's Ferry, where 


a reconnoisance of the position of the British works before 
New York was made. The arrival of the French troops 
was opportune in helping carry out the deep laid plans of 
Gen. Washington and he commended in the highest terms 
their rapid march from Providence across Connecticut, in 
which Newtown had a share. 

Imperfectly and incompletely we have followed along the 
lines of Newtown's pioneer life until near the close of the 
American revolution. Time forbids any further review 
on this occasion. In October, 1911, will come the Bicen- 
tennial of Newtown's incorporation, when her history can be 
reviewed through the second century of her existence. 
The observance of such events tends to keep alive that civic 
and historic pride that every town should foster and encour- 

One word to the 500 children who are with us on this 
historic occasion. 

Dear children, we welcome you here to-day. No appro- 
priation of money that has been made by the Executive 
Committee to help make the events of this day a success, 
has been done more willingly than the one to help make it 
possible to bring the children of the town together in a way 
that would be pleasant, attractive and instructive in every 

May God bless you all, and when the time comes, as come 
it will, when you will take up the duties that we older ones 
must soon lay down, if you succeed in helping make home, 
town, state and National life better than it is to-day, it will be 
because you do the best you can as the days go by. 

One hundred years hence will come the tricentennial of 
the event we celebrate to-day. May we not hope, nay, may 
we not believe, that it will be ushered in and observed in a 
manner fitting such an occasion and the early days of our 
town's history be again reviewed. None of us will be here, 


"We all within our graves will sleep 
One hundred years to come. 
No living soul for us will weep 
One hundred years to come. 
But other men our lands will till 
And others then our streets will fill, 
While other birds will sing as gay 
As bright the sun shine as to-day 
One hundred years to come." 


When the historical paper that was read at Newtown's Bicenten- 
nial celebration August 5, 1905, was being prepared, it was with no 
expectation that it would have more than a temporary place in the 
thoughts or interests of the people, and one insertion in our local 
paper, the Newtown Bee; and when the writer was asked by those 
who had the arranging of the order of exercises for the day, how 
much time must be allowed for the reading of the historical paper, 
the unhesitating reply was "twenty minutes." 

Study, research and compilation led the historian on and on, con- 
stantly opening new fields of historic interest, until it became a 
question, not so much as to the quantity that might be gathered, as 
it was as to quality. The process of culling completed, the paper had 
its place in the literary exercises of the day, and was printed as 
read, in the Newtown Bee, on the following week. Local interest 
and pride would not stop there, but strongly urged that the addresses 
and historical paper should appear in book form, not only for present 
reference, but for the interest of coming generations. 

The paper then prepared now appears in full as it was before 
being condensed in order to not take more than a proper share of 
the time allotted for it in the prescribed order of the day. 

With its imperfections and incompleteness it is given with the 
hope that it will meet with a kindly greeting from all our towns- 
people, and from those who are still of us though not with us, 
wherever fate, fortune, choice or duty may have taken them. 

Particular care as to accuracy has been taken in regard to all 
statistical matter and copying from records and public documents. 

It would show a lack of courtesy not to embrace the present 
opportunity to thank those who have given kindly help, when asked 
for, in the way of access to old records and manuscripts. To the 


State librarian, to the officials in the Adjutant General's office, and 
in that of the State Superintendent of Schools, to those in charge of 
the rooms of the Connecticut Historical Society, as well as the care 
keepers of the public libraries of New Haven and Bridgeport, thanks 
are due and given. 

The Connecticut Colonial Records, the History of the Catholic 
Church in New England, the Magazine of American History; also 
Hoadly's Records of the State of Connecticut from 1776 to 1789 
inclusive, have been valuable books for reference. 

The custodians of the Congregational Church records have been 
extremely kind in loaning them for my use. 

Searching of Newtown Probate Records of date previous to 1820 
necessitated going to Danbury, and there the Judge of Probate was 
very courteous, kind and helpful ; and when occasion required access 
to our town records, Newtown's Town Clerk has ever been ready 
with pleasant greeting and kindly interest. 

Surely, in Newtown we have a goodly heritage, and let us strive 
by strengthening our moral, our religious, our social and our domes- 
tic ties, to help uplift ourselves as a whole, to a higher plane of 
sobriety, good order and general usefulness. [E. L. j.] 

It was impossible for many on the outskirts of the large 
audience to hear Mr. Johnson, unaccustomed as he is to 
speaking in public. But the numbers who crowded close to 
the platform, and stood to listen eagerly to the address to 
its close, witnessed to the interest and appreciation with 
which it was received. It was read by a large number when 
printed in the next issue of the Newtown Bee. That it 
might have a permanent record is one of the chief reasons 
for the publishing of this volume. 

At the close of Mr. Johnson's address "The Star Spangled 
Banner" was sung by Mrs. Sherwood S. Thompson, of New 
Haven, a native of Newtown and daughter of the late 
Captain Julius Sanford, her sister, Mrs. C. B. Bolmer, 
playing the accompaniment. 

At i :3O P. M. an intermission of an hour was taken for 
luncheon. The Committee on Entertainment had provided 

Chairman of the Entertainment Committee. 


an abundance of sandwiches and crullers in the large 
Agricultural Building of the Fair Association, where 
waiters served the multitude. The people entered by the 
east door, near which they were provided with wooden 
plates and paper napkins. After helping themselves to as 
much as they chose, they passed out at the west door and 
picnicked in the grand stand, in the buildings, in their 
carriages, or on the grass. An abundance of hot coffee and 
iced lemonade was provided at the north end of the grand 
stand. So abundant was the provision that over one 
thousand sandwiches and much other food had been left 
after the multitude had been satisfied. 

The Governor, the speakers of the day, and specially 
invited guests lunched with the Executive Committee in the 
room under the south end of the grand stand. Mr. Beards- 
ley and his assistants had tastefully decorated the room with 
bunting and spread a feast such as Newtown ladies know 
how to prepare. One feature of the table was a large cake 
set in front of the Governor's place representing Ronald 
Castle, the gift of Mr. Peter L. Ronald, a generous con- 
tributor to the expenses of the celebration. 

The afternoon session was opened by a selection by the 
Woodbury Brass Band, after which the President of the day 
introduced the poet. He said : 

"When plans were first made for this celebration and 
for many weeks in which the Executive Committee were 
arranging the programme, I was in constant dread lest 
some one should propose that we should have a poem 
upon this anniversary. I had suffered much on such 
occasions from poems which told in lame and halting 
verse the things which had already been said in simple 
prose. The length of such poems had also prolonged 
the agony. So great was my dread of the entering of a 
poem to mar this happy day that I had almost decided to 

provide myself with some deadly weapon with which to put 
to a speedy if not painless rest the person who should first 
propose it. But at last there was placed in my hands a 
poem by one who was so highly esteemed a friend I could 
not do him bodily harm; but to whom I did not hesitate to 
tell my opinion of occasional poems. It was his wish that I 
should read it, and if not approved, he promised that it 
should be heard of no more. If approved, I should submit 
it to the Executive Committee anonymously and let it be 
accepted or rejected on its merits. It was accepted. I 
think you will agree with me when you have heard it that 
we found a poem. We did more, we found a poet. Our 
friend had frequently lectured us in the columns of our 
local paper on our morals and manners, on good roads, 
libraries, the schools, and many other practical matters. 
We did not dream that he could soar aloft or woo the gentle 
muse. I am sure you will all gladly listen to one of our 
own fellow-townsmen, who if not a Tennyson, is not a Long- 
fellow ; for his poem is brief. The poet of the day is the 
Rev. Otis O. Wright, Rector of St. John's Church, Sandy 
Hook; his subject, "The Old Home Coming." 


Rector of St. John's Church, Sandy Hook, 

Poet of the Day. 




All hail, ye sons and daughters ; welcome home ! 
We greet your coming with our songs of cheer ! 
To hill-tops welcome; and to valleys fair; 
We wish you joy beneath these blissful skies. 
Welcome to verdant fields, and woodlands wide, 
With joyful songs of birds, and purling brooks, 
The beauty, and the fragrance of the flow'rs, 
And all that comes in happy summer time 
To make us love the dear old country-side. 

Lay down the implements of labor, now ; 
Forsake the marts of trade, and common gain ; 
Close up the office, and the fact'ry door; 
Throw off the burden of consuming cares ; 
Come back again, and breathe the Newtown air. 

We gladly bid you welcome, one and all : 
The native born, and children's children dear. 
With all descendants of those gone before, 
And you who hither come but to sojourn, 
Return, once more, to rest yourselves awhile, 
And feel the home love in your hearts renewed. 

Back through the records of two hundred years 
We trace the presence here of those who came, 
The daring, strong, and brave, from Stratford town, 
Through winding valleys up, to Pootatuck : 
Bush, Junos, Hawley, sturdy pioneers, 
True men of spirit, venture, enterprise, 


Who blazed the bounds of these first purchased lands 

On graceful Housatonic's swirling stream, 

(July the twenty-fifth, ye olden style, 

'Twas seventeen hundred five, in Queen Anne's reign,) 

The red man's birthright to the white man sold 

By Mauquash, Nunnaway, and Massumpas. 

In vision still, we see those stalwart sires 
Who came to be the Founders of the town : 
Beers, Curtis, Judson, Hawley, Nichols, Booth, 
Johnson and Fairchild, names abiding here, 
With many others who possessed the land : 
Men strong to labor ; and men wise to rule, 
Such were, indeed, the builders of the State, 
Made first, the Town, the germ of social life 
The town is always father to the State, 
The state the parent of the Nation, so ; 
And we are offspring of the life they gave. 


And we now read the roll of honored names 
In later generations known and loved : 
Our teachers, statesmen, judges, governors; 
Our preachers, advocates, masters of crafts, 
And leaders true and great in all good works ; 
Men born and nurtured here, in humble life, 
With those adopted sons who came to bide, 
Who struggled on, and climbed the rugged way 
That leads to usefulness, and wealth, and fame : 
Those who have served to make our nation great : 
Like Edmond,* patriot, and soldier brave, 

* William Edmond, soldier of the Revolution, M.C., and Judge 
of the Supreme Court of Connecticut; the Rev. John Beach, M.A., 
founder of Trinity Church, Newtown, Conn. ; the Rev. David Jud- 
son, pastor of the Congregational Church ; Asa Chapman, Head of 
the Chapman Law School ; Isaac Toucey, M.C., Governor of Con- 
necticut, United States Attorney General, United States Senator, and 
Secretary of Navy; Henry Dutton; Luzon B. Morris, and William 
Hamilton Gibson. 

A statesman worthy of his stirring times, 
Who graced the highest ermine of the State; 
The parson Beach, and all his honored line ; 
The Rev'rend Judson, loved and long revered; 
With Chapman, also Judge of Court Supreme, 
And famous for his law-lore, widely sought; 
Then, in the highest councils of the land, 
Was Toucey, Chief of State, and Senator; 
Like Button, true adopted son, esteemed, 
Exalted to supreme Judicial bench, 
And likewise Chief Executive of State; 
So, Morris, known and loved in our own day, 
Was dignified as Judge, and Governor; 
And one we claim by birth and heritage, 
Gibson, the seer of Nature, workman rare, 
The poet-artist of the fields and woods. 

These we revere and honor, here to-day, 
With others also worthy to be praised, 
And laud them for their faith and large success, 
As for thefr thrift, and homely virtues pure, 
The richest fruitage gleaned from age to age, 
The truest glory of the Nation's fame. 

This is the land of light, and hope, and peace, 

The goal of the oppressed, the poor, and lost ; 

And hither come the Celt and Teuton bold, 

With Swede, and Dane, and Slav, from out the North ; 

And from the South the Latin races come, 

While of the ancient, Oriental world 

Are dusky faces, eager for new life; 

That swarm like bees, and seek the richer fields; 

And all are welcome, so they worthy come, 

And men of ev'ry clime find here a home, 

For this is God's own land and kingdom true, 

And we are stewards of His gracious love. 


We live for others, others lived for us, 
For on the stream of time men come and go, 
And life is one, past, present and to come ; 
And all is ours if we but claim our right, 
The true, the beautiful, the good, and great. 

Shall we not heed the lessons of the past ! 
To guard the treasures which our fathers won ! 
And cherish well the wisdom of their thoughts ! 
And emulate the virtues of their lives ! 
Most precious lessons in the schools of earth ! 

Let us be true and faithful to their trust; 
And venerate the freedom of their souls : 
And keep the law of liberty secure 
For all who come to share these blessed gifts ! 

Not in ourselves alone we live and thrive, 
Nor for our own we strive to win, alone ; 
For we are links in moving endless chains 
Of passing generations "quick and dead." 
Not what we have, but what we are, is ours ; 
Not what we gain, but what we give, abides ; 
And so we build the palace of the soul, 
By common, daily duties nobly done; 
In thought, and word, and humble loving deeds 
The light eternal shines in mortal lives. 

The treasure-houses of the world we own, 
If in our hearts and minds we find the keys; 
And in our good desires, and hopes, and dreams, 
The firstfruits of the holy life Divine, 
We have a foretaste of the world unseen; 
And as we celebrate the times long past, 
And venerate the noble dead we sing, 
We feast our souls on sacred memories, 
And thus renew the joyful days of youth, 
'Mid scenes immortal, in the old, old home. 

After the Chorus had sung "Let the hills and vales rejoice" 
the President of the day introduced the Governor : 

"The New England town is a little republic in itself, 
but it is part of a greater civic body, the State. It is 
therefore with great pleasure that we greet the chief 
magistrate of our Commonwealth, who has accepted an 
invitation to attend our town celebration. We esteem it 
a great honor that, in spite of his many cares and calls to 
duty elsewhere, he should not only grace this anniversary 
with his presence, but should also consent to make an 
address. We have sent forth some governors from our 
town, and feel able to judge of the men who have filled 
so honorable a place in the history of our State. Among 
that line of distinguished men and a worthy successor to 
Winthrop and Button and Toucey and Morris is that 
perfect gentleman who now holds that office. I have 
the honor to introduce His Excellency, Henry Roberts, 
Governor of Connecticut." 

The Governor received an ovation as he rose to speak, 
and after gracefully acknowledging his introduction made 
an address which was received with great favor. 



In celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the 
purchase from the Indians of land which now consti- 
tutes the township of Newtown you are accomplishing a 
purpose which must carry with it much that is interesting 
and instructive. The older Connecticut towns furnish a 
record that is attractive and inspiring in the lives of 
former inhabitants and in the events that have taken place 
in them. Newtown is among this number and its present 
residents may look back and refer to much that is laudable 
and instructive in deeds and events, for it is in these rural 
communities that we find that some of our most distin- 
guished and able men and women have been born, bred and 
passed part of their lives. And it has been a prevailing and 
worthy custom to take note of these special periods in a 
town's history, such as the one you now celebrate, to go into 
retrospect and to draw therefrom lessons of value to present 
and coming generations, and there can be few exercises of 
more worth to the youth of these towns than such celebra- 
tions ; for not only are the examples of worthy lives held up 
to them to emulate, but generous and praiseworthy deeds 
and accomplishments are again rehearsed and an incentive is 
afforded to follow in the footsteps of those who have 
performed valuable service in their day for the good of the 
community in which they lived, or for the state or nation. 

Governor of Connecticut. 

Should I recall the names of persons who inhabit or have 
inhabited this village, the list would be found to include 
those to whom I have referred. 

And it is the celebration of these anniversaries that is 
helpful to the town's interest and betterment, for it is a 
means of not only increasing and stimulating the activity 
of those resident in the town, but it recalls the associations 
of former residents and mutually they tend to the accom- 
plishment of something that is of credit to the community. 

The Old Home Week movement ought to be more and 
more fostered as leading to the result which I have just 
mentioned, and in other states where it has taken a 
stronger hold than it has in Connecticut it has been fraught 
with great good by uniting the interests of those who have 
been former inhabitants of the town with those residents 
who are now interested and active in its concerns ; churches 
have been aided ; waste places reclaimed, libraries built ; 
schools assisted and monuments and memorials commem- 
orating noted events or distinguished personages have been 
erected, and so by these benefits and object lessons there 
is handed down to coming generations not only a knowledge 
of what has worthily transpired before within the bounds 
in which they dwell, but also which will incite them to make 
their lives equally worthy and their community more 
attractive. We have few towns in our Commonwealth 
more attractive than this one, with its broad street, its fine 
shade trees, its healthful location, its beautiful landscape, 
its inviting dwellings so that it has been for years the 
delight of the visitor and the rendezvous for those who 
enjoy spending their summers in its environs, breathing the 
pure air and delighting the eye in the fair scene which it 
beholds. So, my fellow citizens of Newtown, you should 
esteem yourselves most fortunate, for you have a goodly 
heritage and you dwell in a pleasant and delectable abiding 


And how many of these delightful spots we have in 
Connecticut! I have especially noted this since my induc- 
tion into office as your public servant. Who can ride 
through the broad Main street of Brooklyn in our state, 
with its fine equestrian statue of Putnam in its central 
square, its lofty overshadowing elms and the charming 
landscape in view, without rejoicing that God has made 
these goodly scenes for one to enjoy ; and who can look upon 
the Putnam monument without his soul being stirred to 
greater patriotism and higher resolve. This Brooklyn 
street, with your own, are fair examples of the many to 
which I might refer for their attractiveness and beauty. 

It may not be out of place at this time to note the 
progress made in the past two hundred years in civili- 
zation, both by our state and nation, and the qualities 
and characteristics which have made our nation great 
and our State holding the position of high respect which 
she does among our sister states. 

Two hundred years ago our state was sparsely settled 
and the inhabitants of our Union of States occupied only a 
small portion of its present area. There was early 
developed that love of freedom and justice among the 
inhabitants of the Connecticut Colony which afterward 
showed itself in such strong and vigorous force. For in the 
Colonial and Revolutionary wars Connecticut displayed her 
patriotic spirit, and at all times of crisis in our country's 
history has furnished distinguished examples of loyalty and 
devotion to every cause of righteousness and j ustice. Her 
love for education of her sons and daughters was a spirit 
quickly displayed and the church and school house were 
companion structures a desire for learning which has been 
fostered in every hamlet within the bounds of the state and 
which has been the means of establishing a leading univer- 
sity and schools and colleges of wider than state fame, within 
whose walls are gathered students from every realm of the 

civilized world and from which are graduated men and 
women who have played large and distinguished parts in 
life's role and have, in the two centuries past, been distinctly 
advancing civilization and helpful to humanity. We are all 
justly proud of Connecticut in this respect and of the 
honored place she holds in matters of advanced and advanc- 
ing education, in all its branches. 

Industrially and materially her progress has been even 
greater. From the time the first steamboat was built and 
launched (the invention of a Connecticut man), when a new 
era in the use of steam was noted, till to-day, the men of 
Connecticut have been signally noted for that fertility of 
brain and ingenuity which have made her name known far 
and wide for the invention and manufacture of those articles 
of utility and service which have eased the burden of labor 
and brought added comforts to thousands ; and our thriving 
towns, developed in those centuries, with their busy mills, 
fostered by this same ingenuity and genius, have given 
employment to thousands of respected and self-respecting 
men and women, than whom no state has better, and who 
have their proper place and share in the glory of the 
commonwealth. Our state during the time of which we 
speak has grown into a veritable hive of industry, from 
which have emanated many of the valuable products of 
the age. 

No less has been the development in humanitarian and 
charitable helps for which our state is so justly noted, a 
kindly and generous spirit for the unfortunate, feeble and 
the worthy poor is a growing characteristic and aim of our 
people a broad, brotherly and catholic purpose which 
augurs much for good feeling, good order and good morals. 
In the foregoing and many other ways we may rejoice in 
this era of higher impulse, better equipment for nobler and 
more valuable service and help for mankind, as well in our 
great material prosperity and higher intellectuality. 



But what of our Nation's growth and progress? This 
has been simply stupendous and marvellous. It has out- 
stripped all other peoples in all that which pertains to the 
uplifting and civilizing of mankind. From an inferior 
power, but whose people have been controlled by noble 
motives and lofty ambitions, lovers of liberty and justice, 
with far-sighted and able leaders, it now ranks as the 
leading nation of the world, a power to be respected and a 
force to be reckoned with in the settlement of international 
affairs; a referee and a judge, to whom the disputes of 
other powers are brought for adjustment; a provider for 
the world's subsistence and comfort from its fertile-bearing 
fields and the products of its skilled industries ; wonderful 
and startling the inventions of its artisans, and giving to 
the world in various other ways results of genius and 
professional ability which has made the world recognize in 
our people the leaders in thought and action and by which 
you and I, as individuals, have been so signally blessed and 

Truly these centuries have been those of astounding 
uplift and progress and periods during which so much has 
been accomplished that we wonder at it, and our forefathers 
could have no conception of the Republic they were found- 
ing and much less what it was destined to be in so compara- 
tively short a period as we view time in the lapse of the ages. 
For all this, we may thank a kind and overruling Provi- 
dence, who guided our forefathers to this rich heritage and 
who has verified to us as citizens of this commonwealth 
the motto of our beloved state, that "He who has brought 
over will sustain." 

In view of these advantages that have accrued to us and 
this rich heritage that has been bequeathed to us from 
achievements of the past two centuries, a great obligation 
rests upon us to maintain, foster and strengthen the privi- 
leges and blessings that are ours ; and this can best be 

accomplished, I am sure you will agree with me, by pursu- 
ing the same course and living up to the same high stand- 
ards which have been characteristic of our forerunners 
stimulating patriotism and devotion to all worthy and 
national and state purposes and causes, being lovers of good 
order and good morals always assisting the weak to a 
higher and better manhood and womanhood ; and in this 
respect we should not forget that there are coming to our 
shores thousands yearly who, attracted by the benefits and 
privileges this country affords and often landing at our 
ports with an exaggerated and false idea of what our word 
liberty means, too often confounding its meaning with that 
of license, would tend to disturbance and lawlessness let 
us by contact with them, by forbearance, patience and help- 
ful instruction teach what our liberties really mean, as 
viewed in the light of the rights of the individual and of 
property, so that they shall never be a menace to our free 
institutions, but shall rather be harmonized to our ways and 
become a part of our liberty-loving, loyal people ; and who 
will be taught with us to hold our privileges sacredly and 
enjoy them with due respect to the rights of others as law- 
abiding, law-respecting citizens. 

I conceive it to be the duty of every loyal citizen of the 
community and state to be helpful to his state, country and 
community, to have a loyal and devoted zeal in their best 
interests, that is to have a community and state spirit and 
pride which shall desire ever and always that they shall 
advance along the best lines, and to put forth earnest 
endeavor persistently to this end and not spasmodically when 
evil threatens. May we all so live and so strive and so attain 
that our day and generation shall leave to the future genera- 
tions equally valuable results as have been received by us 
from the past, and manifold more in proportion as our 
advanced and bettered condition enables us to give. 

Permit me in closing these cursory remarks to thank my 
fellow citizens of Newtown for their cordial invitation to 
attend this very interesting anniversary, and to say to you 
how heartily I have enjoyed it, and to wish you every 
blessing and all prosperity for the future. 

At the close of the Governor's address the Chorus sang 
"March of the Men of Columbia." 

In introducing the next speaker the President of the day 

"We have in the past sent forth men of intellectual 
ability who have been lights in the professional world. 
No less has this country town produced men of business 
capacity and integrity. When we can trust a man with our 
pocket books we must have a high sense of his financial 
ability and that rarer character, genuine honesty. To 
a former fellow-townsman did Uncle Sam at one time 
commit his purse. I have the pleasure of introducing the 
Honorable Daniel N. Morgan, former Treasurer of the 
United States." 

Prefacing his address with some personal reminiscences 
of special interest to the older persons in the audience, Mr. 
Morgan spoke as follows : 

Treasurer of the United States under President Cleveland. 



Mr. President, Friends of my native town and your 
Guests: When one has seen two generations of the pano- 
rama of life move rapidly by, that "our days are swifter than 
a weaver's shuttle" can be fully realized. Although two 
centuries have elapsed since Newtown began its existence 
with forty-eight square miles of territory, during that 
period its history entitles it, from what has been accom- 
plished by its God-fearing, sturdy inhabitants, to a full rec- 
ognition from the sister towns of the state. It has been 
regarded a farming town that would well repay the 
husbandmen for their efforts, and there does not exist in 
this country a more independent class of citizens than the 
prosperous and contented farmers. Some manufacturing 
has been carried on much of the time at different points. 
The town has an enviable name as a health resort, and in 
the years gone by students came here from different places 
of the Union to avail themselves of the school privilege. 
In its earlier history, as later, it had its men of note, who 
were reared, educated and have located here for a time, 
among them the Rev. Thomas Toucey, who lived in 1714, 
near the present residence of Mrs. Charles H. Peck. 
Oliver Toucey, Jr.'s, home was at the homestead of the late 
Charles Morehouse. Isaac Toucey, his son, was Governor 
of Connecticut in 1846, and later Attorney General and 
Secretary of the United States navy. Henry Button was 


Governor of Connecticut in 1854. He began housekeeping 
in the house located on what is now known as the Morgan 
homestead. Rev. John Beach, who was rector of Trinity 
parish from 1732 to 1782, lived at the Harris place at the 
foot of the street. The donor of your fine library building, 
Miss Rebecca D. Beach, is a descendant of that noted man. 
History informs us that Charles R. Sherman, the father of 
Gen. William T. and John Sherman, and Governor Clark 
Bissell, among others, pursued their study of law here. 
The late Governor of Connecticut, Luzon B. Morris, was a 
native of the town, and you must all regard with pride that 
your former townsman, Rev. Frederick F. Johnson, has 
recently been elected a Bishop. Leaving this interesting 
train of thought, for your historians have presented to you 
many valuable facts of the past years, allow me to mention 
some of the conditions existing in my own day and genera- 
tion, noting some of the marked changes. If Newtown 
could proclaim to the world its past, what has transpired 
during the last sixty years, worthy of mention, and in the 
country at large, which has in a measure revolutionized the 
living in this agricultural town, what a wonderful story it 
would unfold. Permit me to digress a moment, as it is 
most interesting to me to state that the lady who was my 
first school teacher in the Flat Swamp district when I was 
three years old fifty-seven years ago, is now living in 
Bridgeport, and two more of my lady teachers before I was 
ten years of age are now living in Newtown, one of them 
of a family of five sisters and brothers, relatives of the 
late Gov. Isaac Toucey, now living together at the old 
home, who were the long ago neighbors of my father's 

Having learned all the mysteries of farming and mer- 
chandising as then conducted, it was evident in those days 
what it meant to exchange all that could be spared from the 
farms for the articles needed from the stores. 

Barter was the principal basis of trade for the merchants, 
and they in turn must send it to the cities and with the pro- 
ceeds purchase supplies for replenishing their stock. I 
recall that one year 175 bushels of chestnuts were sent 
from the store at Morgan's Four Corners to Bridgeport, 16 
miles distant, to be sold in New York at one dollar a bushel, 
and the clerks who had to keep shoveling them over and 
over to prevent their spoiling, never forgot their experience. 
All goods bought out of town prior to any, or limited rail- 
road facilities, necessitated long hauls. There is no ques- 
tion that there were one hundred cents in every dollar made. 
Hats, combs and buttons were among the articles manufac- 
tured hereabouts, and those industries brought some cash 
into circulation in shillings and sixpences, besides the 
United States coins and the bills of the state banks. Busi- 
ness methods have changed since my long past experience 
in clerking, so that clerks now in the stores in town cannot 
enjoy such pastimes as weighing many things with the old 
time steelyards, or digging out the dark yellow sugar from 
a great hogshead and then grinding it in a mill. Neither 
can they get up long before day of a winter's morning to 
see a drove of fat cattle being driven to the New York 
market by the then well known drovers, Lemuel and Her- 
mon Beers. We recall that the late Henry Beers in the 
war days sold $10,000 worth yearly of beef cattle. They 
will not see the droves of cattle in great numbers as were 
then brought to the town to be fattened in the fertile fields 
where one steer could thrive on one acre of grass. The 
buying of poultry was done on a large scale by well known 
dealers, and the trading in horses had no limit. The mer- 
chant of to-day does not watch for the delivery of the 
Bridgeport Weekly Farmer and Standard to be brought to 
the store for a few subscribers, when the limited amount of 
news then procurable was awaited for and read with avid- 
ity. If you wished the correct time from the watchmaker, 


set by the sun dial, you went to Uncle Ziba Blakeslee's, at 
the head of the street, for it. He advertised his business in 
the Farmer's Journal, then at Danbury, in December, 1792. 
The Bridgeport papers informed us that P. T. Barnum 
took Tom Thumb to Europe in 1844, also that the first 
telegraphic dispatch was sent, May 24, 1844, from Wash- 
ington to Baltimore, Maryland, by Prof. Daniel F. B. 
Morse, the inventor, in these words, "What hath God 
wrought." Always regarded as a wonderful invention, 
Newtown has enjoyed the great conveniences pertainirg to 
telegraphy and the more recent achievements now in vogue 
of telephones, wireless telegraphy and electricity in its 
manifold workings, with its indefinable, immeasurable 
power and scope, which places you in touch with the whole 
civilized world. With access to all the dailv papers far and 
near, you value your industrious, news-gathering, wide- 
awake Newtown Bee, edited and issued since June 27,1877, 
right at home, which is certainly a credit and benefit to the 
town. With the railroad facilities so fully developed, since 
the Housatonic railroad traversed through the town in 1840, 
and was followed by the New York, New Haven & Hart- 
ford in 1848, you are given extended transportation through 
and beyond the state. The latter corporation has now 
absorbed all the railroads in the state and might properly 
be called the New York and New England. What changes 
it has wrought for a town like this as an outlet to the 
whole world! 

The lines of life have had a marked transition from 
those existing two generations ago. The goods manufac- 
tured here have the whole country for a market. The sur- 
plus of crops and stock derived from your farms is readily 
disposed of near by, and doubtless at satisfactory prices 
You depend on the railroads to bring to your doors your 
coal as needed, the kerosene oil instead of whale oil or 
candle as of yore, the flour, the grain, and much of the 


beef and other meats used, without enumerating other pro- 
visions and many other articles from the long list of the 
necessities of life as they are generally regarded to-day, 
which were deemed luxuries within the time just mentioned. 
I believe fully the statement that it requires about four 
times the amount called for a half century ago for the 
multitude of the fairly well-to-do people to live on in these 
days. That is, what were deemed luxuries then we all 
consider necessities now. Money at interest does not 
return more than half the interest it did then. 

With the changes and vicissitudes to which the town has 
been subjected it has stood the test well, and without ques- 
tion this home gathering, most hospitable occasion, will 
arouse new interest and ambition for a continuing pros- 
perous future, so that the patriotic spirit for your native 
or adopted town will thoroughly pervade your minds and 
feelings. I trust that all who can claim Newtown as their 
birthplace will do so with pride and pleasure, as it is my 
privilege to do. I realize that after an absence from among 
you, as a resident, for thirty-six years I come as a stranger 
to most of you. Still I ask you to remember that I am 
always interested in Newtown and its residents, and wish 
for you each and all a full measure of success and happiness 
in the coming years. 

At the conclusion of Mr. Morgan's address the President 
of the day said: 

"During the intermission, as we were walking about 
the grounds, I overheard one of our ladies belonging 
to one of the old Newtown families enquire of a fashion- 
ably dressed young lady whom she had just met, "Are 
your family early settlers?" "O yes," was the prompt 
reply, "Pa always pays every bill on the first of the month." 


There are some who, though not Newtown born, have 
generously helped this celebration in advance, which is 
even better. It gives me great pleasure to introduce one 
who is not only a generous public-spirited gentleman, but 
well remembered here as a successful medical practitioner, 
Dr. W. C. Wile, of Danbury." 

After telling some apt and taking stories, the Doctor 
delivered the following address : 

Editor of the New England Medical Monthly. 



Had I the gift of choosing words, and the power of 
knitting those words into such pregnant and polished 
phrases as my distinguished and good friend, Governor 
Roberts, has, I might be able to properly present to you the 
thoughts that lie deep down in my heart on this memorable 
occasion. That I am glad to be here is evidenced by my 
presence. I am delighted to be home again and mingle with 
those of you who still live in dear old Newtown and to 
assist those who, like myself, have returned to help you 
to fittingly celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the 
purchase of these grand hills and beautiful valleys from the 
Indians. That we are having the time of our lives goes 
without saying, for the hospitality of your citizens is pro- 
verbial, and is of the most open-handed kind. 

We come back to you, older and, we hope, better men. 
Some of us have been shorn of our fleecy locks so closely 
that an Indian of 1705 might think that we had met some 
hostile tribe and that our scalps were hanging from the 
belt of some friendly Indian ; while we all have grown 
grey and, barring the ladies, grown older. 

For sixteen years I resided in your midst ministering to 
your physical wants, while the clergy were looking after 
your spiritual ones. Which was the most successful I am 
afraid we shall have to leave to the decision of St. Peter at 
a later date. That we all tried to do our duty to you, I am 
quite sure you will all admit. 


In going through the town, almost every house I passed 
recalled some detail of my experience, for the doctor stands 
high in the estimation of your people ; and it was always a 
pleasure as well as a duty to serve you. That I often failed, 
the well-filled cemeteries show, alas, too well. In looking 
over this vast sea of faces before me to-day, my heart comes 
quickly to my throat when I think of those who have gone 
from us the genial Aaron Sanford, Dr. Judson, Dr. 
Bennett, Dr. Graves, William Sanford, and a host of others 
who have been gathered to their fathers. I hope that those 
of us who went away and have come back to Newtown 
again, have come back better men, stronger and truer citi- 
zens. Of one thing rest assured, we come with our hearts 
filled to overflowing for home, the dear old home. 

God bless you all ! May your health and prosperity keep 
pace only with your wishes, and the end, when it does come, 
as it must to us all, may it find us all prepared, and may it 
come peacefully and painlessly. 

Standing here, on this great anniversary at the very 
beginning of the century, it is impossible that one shall not 
look back, and equally impossible that one shall not look for- 
ward. We are just at the close of what we call, and call 
rightly, a century of great achievements. We pride our- 
selves upon the work this country has accomplished. We 
point to a government based upon the consent of the gov- 
erned, such as the world has never seen ; wealth which has 
been piled up such as no country has ever attained within 
that time, or double or quadruple that time. It is such a 
condition of life as never existed in any other country. 
From Mount Desert to the Golden Gate, yes, from the 
islands which Columbus saw, thinking he had found the 
East Indies themselves, where even as I speak the flag is 
planted, our possessions and our wealth extend. 

We have, though following the arts of peace, an army 

ready to rise to the sound of the bugle greater than Rome 
was able to summon behind her golden eagles. 

We are right to call it a century of achievement. We 
pride ourselves upon it. Now, who achieved that? Not 
we, personally; our fathers achieved it; your father and 
my father; your fathers, when they left England and set 
their prows westward and landed upon the rock-bound 
coast ; when they drew up the compact of civil government, 
which was a new thing in the history of the world, and when 
the time came they staked all they had upon the principle of 
a government based only upon the consent of the governed. 

We pride ourselves upon the fact that we can worship 
God according to the dictates of our own conscience. And 
they left us an heritage, and it has brought forth abun- 

I say this to draw clearly the line between mere material 
wealth and that which is the real wealth and welfare of a 
people. We are rich, but our fathers were poor. How 
did they achieve it? Not by their wealth, but by their 
character by their devotion to principle. The best thing, 
I think, that the fathers left the country was character. 
That is indeed the heritage they left us. Wealth will not 
preserve that which they left us ; not power, not "dalliance 
nor wit" will preserve it; nothing but that which is the 
spirit will preserve it ; nothing but character. 

The whole story of civilization speaks this truth with 
trumpet voice. One nation rises upon the ruins of another 
nation. It is when Sampson lies in the lap of Delilah that 
the evening steals upon him and ensnares him; binds him. 

I have no fear of the future. I think, looking around 
the country at present, that even if it would seem to us at 
times that there are gravest perils which confront us, that 
even though there may be evidence of weakening in our 
Christianity, notwithstanding this, I say, I believe that the 
great Anglo-Saxon race, not only on this side of the water, 


but on the other side also, contains elements which alone 
can continue to be the leader of civilization, the elements 
of fundamental power, abiding virtue, public and private. 

Wealth will not preserve a state ; it must be the aggrega- 
tion of individual integrity of its members that shall pre- 
serve it. That integrity I believe exists, deep-rooted among 
our people. 

I am glad to be here where you have the greatest Ameri- 
can achievements, this American home and this American 

May it always be kept pure, and always only at the right 
fountains have its strength renewed. 

After Dr. Wile's address the President of the day said: 

"Newtown has sent out a number of men distinguished in 
the legal professions and in public life. We have one such 
with us to-day, who sometimes returns to breathe the New- 
town air. We are glad that he and his gracious lady, 
herself a native of Newtown and distinguished among the 
women of the State, still retain a home among us, though 
their life is mostly spent elsewhere. I knew the Judge 
long before I knew Newtown. In his own town I knew him 
as the leading and most public-spirited citizen, a lawyer of 
wide reputation, and a just and fearless judge. He is 
full of the memories of the old town and its men who have 
made their mark in the world. I am sure we shall hear 
from him much that is of interest on this historic occasion. 
The Honorable Charles H. Briscoe, formerly Speaker of 
the Connecticut House of Representatives." 

ix-Speaker of Connecticut House of Representatives. 



Judge Briscoe, in expressing his interest in the town and 
its celebration, was struck by the passing away of many of 
his contemporaries, some by removal and some by death. 
Newtown was his native place and the home of his ancestors, 
being descended from Nathaniel Briscoe, one of the early 
settlers. The old homestead stood near the village cemetery 
and a part of the cellar wall can still be seen near the 

In regard to this old Indian deed, he said he was glad 
that his ancestors did not participate in that original bargain. 
It was a shame how much the white men got for so little. 

Referring to the great men the town had produced, he 
mentioned Isaac Toucey, Governor, Secretary of the United 
States Navy, and Attorney General of the United States. 
Of Charles Chapman, who was born on the ground 
where the Episcopal rectory now stands and who died in 
1869, he said, he was a great lawyer, a man who could sway 
audiences, juries and legislatures. Asa Chapman, Judge 
of the Supreme Court, had a law school here, where many 
had a preparation for a successful career at the bar. 

In regard to the changes of population, he said, when he 
was a boy there was but one Irishman in town, Daniel 
Quinlivan, the first of that large migration which to many 
at the time seemed undesirable. But the Irish race had done 
a large and useful work for the community, and were 
among our best citizens. This was a lesson to us in regard 
to the way in which we should look at the element which 


was now coming into the country, the Hungarian and the 
Slav. We should have faith in our country as a refuge 
for the oppressed of other lands and believe that they would, 
under our free institutions, be assimilated to become useful 
and patriotic citizens. 

The Chorus here sang "Home, Sweet Home," and the 
President of the day said : 

"Of the younger men who have gone from Newtown 
and are doing good work elsewhere there is one who 
will be well received, not less because as a successful 
lawyer he is carrying out the good principles learned here 
as a boy than because he is a son of one who for near a 
quarter of a century was rector of Trinity church. That 
beautiful structure, the pride of the whole town, erected 
during his rectorship, is his material monument. His more 
enduring monument is in the lives and hearts and memories 
of his people. Mr. Frederick P. Marble, of Lowell, Mass." 

Attorney at Law, Lowell, Mass. 

Son of Rev. Newton E. Marble, D.D., Rector of Trinity Church, Newtown, 
from April, 1857, to September, 1878. 



Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, and, I trust I may 
be permitted to add, in addressing a great many of you, 
Old Friends and Neighbors: I do not know that I ever 
felt more embarrassment in speaking on a public occasion 
than to-day, excepting perhaps some twenty-five or thirty 
years ago, when on Friday afternoons in the old Academy 
building which stood then on the Street, I used to rise from 
my seat and with faltering steps ascend the platform, and 
in a somewhat weak and piping voice exhort my fellow 
students to "strike until the last armed foe expires," or 
declaim some equally stirring phillipic. But, however diffi- 
dent I may feel as a "prophet in my own country," I shall 
not let it prevent my expressing in a few words the very 
great gratification it affords me to be here to-day to join 
with you in commemorating a very important and interest- 
ing occurrence in the history of our good old town. The 
value of such celebrations is not measured alone by their 
historical interest, though that indeed is great, and I am 
sure that we who have listened to the scholarly and thought- 
ful addresses just delivered have learned much before 
unknown of the history and growth of our town, and that 
much of value will consequently be perpetuated and pre- 
served which might otherwise be lost in the lapse of time. 
Useful as these occasions are in awakening and reviving 
an interest in the things of the past, I believe they have still 


greater importance in that they stir up and promote public 
spirit, or civic pride, as it is sometimes called, and stimulate 
movements in the line of material progress and improve- 

One of the previous speakers has alluded in a rather 
quizzical way to some of the things which Newtown lacks. 
It is nearly twenty-five years since I have been able to spend 
much time here, and, perhaps for the very reason of my 
long absence, changes strike me more sharply than those 
who have been here during their progress; certainly I see 
many changes that add much to the natural beauty and 
attractiveness of the town. Let me mention a few things 
that Newtown has and may have a just pride in having. 
As I remember our library, it consisted of a few volumes 
which were kept at the house of its faithful custodian, Miss 
Charlotte Nichols. Now by the generous gift of a bene- 
factor of the town a beautiful and artistic Memorial Library 
contains a choice collection of books, which grows con- 
stantly in size and value. In the old days the Newtown 
Academy dragged along a rather lingering existence I do 
not wish to disparage what it did, for it accomplished much 
good, though oftentimes receiving but scant support now 
you have what all towns ought to have, a High School sup- 
ported by the town itself and open without charge to the 
children of every citizen, and doing, as I am told, most 
efficient work under its able principal and earnest teachers. 

The public press is represented among you by a paper, 
the Bee, which in the field it covers is indeed unique in 
journalism. A power for good, its influence is felt, not 
alone in this immediate community, but throughout the 
entire State, and its success is a monument to what tireless 
industry will accomplish. This park or public ground, 
which affords a meeting place to-day ; your streets once 
bordered by unsightly weeds, to which green lawns now 
slope down; rough and treacherous foot-paths, now 


replaced, at least in the main, by firm and even walks ; these 
and many other changes in the last few years show progress 
and that spirit of interest in public affairs which argues well 
for the future of the town. 

I want to congratulate your Committee and those who 
have had a part in preparing this really magnificent celebra- 
tion. It has been my good fortune to attend a number of 
such occasions and I never have seen one which showed 
a more careful and painstaking working out of all its 
details, and the clockwork precision with which it has been 
carried out shows an amount of hard work and interest and 
enthusiasm which is really fine. The beautiful decorations 
throughout the town, the procession with its gay colors, 
music, and, most attractive of all, the bright faces of the 
children, and the presence of the Chief Magistrate of the 
State and many distinguished visitors, make this a most 
memorable occasion. Newtown's doors stand wide open to 
her returning children and all are welcomed with a cordial 
and gracious hospitality. 

As I stand here to-day I cannot but have very much in 
mind my father, who came among you as a stranger many 
years ago, but in making this his home learned to love these 
green hills and quiet valleys better than any other spot on 
earth, and whose declining years, when the infirmities of 
age came on, were cheered and brightened by much of true 
friendship and neighborly kindness. Newtown is still the 
home of my revered mother, and to me full of memories 
of a happy boyhood. You will not wonder that it has a 
place very near to my heart, that all that concerns its 
advancement and improvement is of interest to me, and 
that it gives me the greatest pleasure to be here to-day and 
have this opportunity of expressing my loyalty to my native 
place and my interest in its progress and prosperity. 

The President of the day: 

"At the recent commencement of Trinity College I met 
a gentlemen who bears a name so familiar in this town 
that I was led to enquire whether he had relatives living 
here. I found that he was of Newtown stock, and his 
grandfather was next neighbor to the rectory, in which 
I live. From his modest demeanor I did not suspect him 
of greatness, but invited him to come to our celebration 
as a descendant of Newtown. Later in the day I heard 
his name mentioned among those of whom the College is 
proud as a Professor of Law in Yale University. I have 
the pleasure of introducing Professor George E. Beers, of 
New Haven." 

Professor in the Law School of Vale University. 



A previous speaker has referred in touching language 
to the feast to celebrate the Prodigal's return and has 
spoken of the fatted calf, as the only being present not in 
full sympathy with the occasion and not in a frame of mind 
thoroughly to enjoy it. One whose invitation to say a 
word has reached him, owing to a vacation absence, towards 
the close of the eleventh hour, is perhaps as well fitted as 
any one else to appreciate the feelings of that involuntary 
guest and sympathize with him. In spite of this, however, 
I cannot utterly refuse your kind although somewhat dis- 
quieting invitation, even though I must confine myself to 
the thought or two lying uppermost in my mind. 

I am at some loss as to how to identify myself with this 
occasion. Your programme announces short addresses by 
guests and former residents, and I am neither. I was never 
technically a resident of Newtown and yet I have spent 
too many weeks and months here during a considerable 
term of years, too many of my boyhood memories are 
identified with my father's home, it is too full of family 
associations for me to be content to respond to the kind but 
formal call for guests. I enter your hospitable borders 
with none of the feelings of a stranger or a stepson and 
none of the sensations of one on a visit to his mother-in-law. 
I do not presume to claim a son's rights and yet as my 
grandfather and great-grandfather and many of my earlier 


ancestors were among your citizens, I can but look upon 
your kind greeting as a sort of welcome to a grandson. 

Your chairman in calling upon me has referred to my 
residence in New Haven and to the fact that a part of my 
professional work is in connection with the law department 
of Yale University. I am, of course, only one of a multi- 
tude of men of Newtown extraction who have become resi- 
dents of New Haven, I am only one of a considerable 
number of New Haven lawyers with Newtown antece- 
dents; I am not even the first practitioner at her bar to 
serve upon the faculty of the Law Department of that 
ancient university. 

I believe it was in 1837 that Governor Dutton, the grand- 
father of one of my brethren at the New Haven bar and a 
colleague upon the faculty, Mr. George D. Watrous, left 
Newtown and the office where my grandfather afterwards 
practised for so many years, and after a most active and 
distinguished career at the bar in Bridgeport and New 
Haven became professor of law in Yale University. The 
earlier professional years of Judge Dutton were passed in 
this community, where there are even now many among you 
who were his personal friends. His later reputation as a 
leader of the bar of two counties, the editor of Connec- 
ticut's legal classic Swift's Digest, a Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Errors, and Governor of the State, is a 
matter of Connecticut history. 

And then much later Johnson T. Platt, who unlike Gov- 
ernor Dutton was Newtown-born, went to New Haven, 
engaged in practice and became a member of the faculty of 
the Yale Law School. Mr. Platt was a schoolmate and 
early companion of many of you. While a boy he was of 
delicate constitution, and when he died suddenly in 1890, 
he was still in early middle life. His attainments, however, 
were of a high order, and his career as a lawyer an unusu- 
ally active and successful one. Among his various activi- 


ties, he was one of the most energetic and prominent 
members of the American Bar Association, Registrar in 
Bankruptcy and Corporation Counsel of New Haven. As 
Judge Loomis says of him in his Judicial History of the 
State: "He was above all things a lawyer and was proud 
and fond of his profession, his culture and reading were 
exceptionally broad and general, his interest in active affairs 
was most practical." To one who was his pupil and who at 
the beginning of his professional life cherished his friend- 
ship and kindly interest all the more valued because 
shown by one high in his profession to a beginner who had 
nothing to offer in return I seize this opportunity to pay 
a tribute to his memory. Mr. Platt loved Newtown. He 
never wearied of hearing of it or talking of it. It was his 
ardent wish to sometime make his home at the place of 
his birth, but it was not to be. 

So that I am the third in the line, and no matter how 
haltingly or at how great distance I may follow in the foot- 
steps of those strong men of Newtown, I am sure you will 
not blame me for a certain pride of Newtown ancestry, of 
Newtown descent, as I think of myself as one of a line of 
Newtown men who have held the same place and each 
according to his talents, whether few or many, done the 
same work. 

Others have spoken of Newtown's contribution to the 
public life of the state and nation; of Isaac Toucey, per- 
haps her most eminent citizen, member of Congress, gov- 
ernor, senator of the United States, member of the cabinet 
of two presidents, one of the few men who have declined a 
seat upon the Supreme Bench of the United States ; and 
of scores of other men who have contributed largely to the 
national life. 

A word should be said as to the peculiar debt in this 
respect of New Haven to Newtown. You have given New 
Haven hundreds of active, public-spirited, useful citizens 


and several of her most distinguished ones. Charles Chap- 
man himself a son of our eminent citizen of Newtown, 
Judge Asa Chapman of the Supreme Court, was a New- 
town man. While his life was principally spent at Hart- 
ford, he was for years a resident of our city. Distinguished 
as a member of Congress and at one time district attorney 
for Connecticut, he was principally noted as one of the 
greatest jury lawyers of his time. No less discriminating 
a judge than Governor Hubbard has said of him: "In that 
most difficult of all professional functions, a cross examina- 
tion, he was not only distinguished, he was consum- 
mate. * * * But after all, it was perhaps in the summing 
up of a case to the jury that the whole range of his faculties 
found their fullest play. In the ready analyzing of a 
chaotic mass of evidence, in the skillful selection and use of 
materials, in the orderly and logical distribution of an argu- 
ment, in the matchless architecture of his sentences, in 
fertility of illustration, in vigor of attack and coolness in 
retreat, in pungency of satire for his adversaries and opu- 
lence of wit for all, both friend and foe in all these he 
was great, in some of them he had no superior, in few of 
them an equal." Governor Luzon B. Morris, for many 
years the trusted adviser of perhaps more widows and 
orphans than any other man in our city, whose son is to-day 
one of you and known to you all, for many years judge 
of probate, was a Newtown man. And I might go on call- 
ing the roll of Newtown men living and dead who have in 
the past and present contributed largely to our life and 

And what does all this show ? It is surely no mere acci- 
dent that Newtown youth has played so large a part in the 
history of the state and nation. Is it not rather that life 
among your rugged hills and pleasant valleys has developed 
that body, that brain, that character which are needed for 
the world's work? 


A good many jokes to-day have been pointed by that 
Indian deed, which seems to record the exchange of a 
birthright for a somewhat indifferent mess of pottage, and 
one of my friends who has addressed you, in particular, has 
congratulated himself that his ancestors did not have the 
right sort of shrewdness to enable them to figure in that 
apparently sharp bargain. But after all did the Indians do 
more than exchange land, which they did not need, for 
shirts and other things which they did need? While a bar- 
gain that does full credit to Yankee thrift, it was honestly 
made and as in the case of similar purchases throughout 
Connecticut, history discloses no intimations that the land- 
poor Indians were not abundantly satisfied. As Mr. 
Atwater has said in his History of New Haven Colony, "at 
the present day we are apt to think that the sachems sold 
their land for a ridiculously small price ; but one who atten- 
tively considers all the circumstances of the case, the 
reservations they made, the protection they secured, and the 
opportunity for trade afforded by the English settlement, 
will perhaps conclude that what they received was of 
greater value to them than what they sold. It does not 
appear that the Indians were afterwards dissatisfied with 
the terms of sale." Even if after the knives which they 
received were dull, lead scattered and shirts worn out, they 
became discontented, they could surely console themselves 
with the thought that what they sold cost them little and 
they had plenty of land left. So that it would not seem 
that the pleasure of this happy occasion should be marred 
by any qualms of conscience on this score. 

Men and women of Newtown, I congratulate you upon 
this magnificent celebration, so wisely conceived, so splen- 
didly executed. It is fitting that at this point in the life 
of your town you should pause and look back and recall 
the ancient days. Pride in your honorable history cannot 
fail to incite you and those who shall follow you to noble 


living in the time to come. May honor and prosperity 
attend your ancient town as the years and centuries roll on ! 

The President of the day : 

"That Newtown's descendants have attained fame in 
other than the learned professions or in business is shown 
by the fact that we have with us to-day one who in the 
civil war fought for his country and has since earned 
distinction in the Navy of the United States. It is with 
great pleasure that we welcome Rear-Admiral Franklin C. 
Prindle, of Washington." 

Rear Admiral, Retired. 



Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I presume it is 
pretty well understood that naval officers are not given to 
oratory, or much speaking. In fact they much prefer to 
get behind their guns and let these speak for them. But 
there are no big guns to get behind here to-day, save those 
who have preceded me on this platform and those who may 
follow. Neither is there need for any, for these are the 
piping times of peace, and this occasion, one for friendly 
greetings, glorification and rejoicing over the happy out- 
come of the old-time bloodless Indian war. And do not 
these fair ones, who, arrayed in white, with bright and 
beautiful faces, grace this occasion and predominate in this 
assemblage, inspire us as white-winged messengers of 
peace ! And we are assembled to celebrate the first and the 
last, as well as bloodless, victory of our ancestors over the 
Indians two hundred years ago, when, through peaceful 
means, this territory was acquired by our forefathers for 
settlement and development. 

Now I am not a Newtowner, nor a son of a Newtowner, 
nor yet even a grandson of a Newtowner, but my great 
grandfather, Zalmon Prindle, was born here, and from this 
town he enlisted at the age of 19, in the service of the 
colonies and gave more than six years of his young manhood 
to the service of his country in that great struggle for the 


achievement of American independence which we are proud 
to call the American Revolution. 

His great grandfather in turn, Ebenezer Prindle, was, I 
am proud to say, an early settler and one of the original 
proprietors of Newtown, and more or less prominently 
identified with its early history. The land records here tell 
us that in January, 1703, two hundred and two years ago 
he acquired from Lemuel Eells of Mil ford all the latter's 
"right, title, and interest in and unto a place called Newtown, 
as will more fully appear by the Grant of the General 
Court ;" from which it \vould appear that he had his eye then 
set upon the entire "place called Newtown" as a fit and 
needful holding for himself and his large and growing 
family ; and not long after he removed here from Mil ford. 

I have, therefore, as a descendant of the eighth generation, 
a lively personal interest in this old New-town, to which 
Ebenezer came as indeed a very new town to him two 
hundred years ago. In fact, I may say that I have been 
waiting for two hundred years for an opportunity to visit 
this ancestral town, and place my feet upon the same soil 
my ancestors tilled and trod through successive generations, 
in direct line, until the present day, when some of whose 
descendants continue to still live among you. 

Then as this day was fixed upon for the celebration of 
the bicentennial of the original purchase of the land from the 
Indians, I was reminded of the fact that in 1711, Ebenezer 
Prindle was appointed at town meeting a surveyor of these 
very lands purchased from the Indians ; and so on this 
account, if nothing more, I had a great desire to come 
up here and see what sort of a job he had made of it, and I 
am glad to find that his work appears to have been so well 
done that some of his descendants were left upon it to still 
remain in possession and occupation to this day, and I hope 
they may so continue for another two hundred years to 


Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war it appears 
that several Newtown families removed to the still newer 
town of Sandgate, Vermont, and among them my great 
grandfather, Zalmon, his father Joel, his uncle Nathan, and 
others. That then became the place of my birth and the 
home of my childhood, and as I now see this beauti- 
ful Newtown I am wondering what possessed those good 
people to make such an apparently unfavorable exchange 
of location, unless it was through the operation of that anti- 
race suicide sentiment and practice, then more prevalent than 
now, which called for more room for occupation and expan- 
sion. At any rate I will not now dare to trust myself to 
express an opinion as to their judgment in exchanging these 
lands, so fair to look upon, for that rugged hill-country so 
fittingly described by some one who has written : 

"Up in Vermont where the hills are so steep, 
The farmers use ladders to pasture their sheep." 

But I must not longer detain you at this late hour, further 
than to express my very great pleasure in being able to be 
with you here to-day, and for the first time in two hundred 
years ! May I not also follow the example of a preceding 
speaker, in concluding, by offering a toast, a soldier's and 
sailor's toast, if you please : 

"The Ladies ! God bless them ! 
Our arms their defense, 
Their arms our recompense! 

Fall in!" 

The time was too limited to hear from others present 
who would have added interest to the occasion, but the 
President of the day called upon Mr. E. C. Beecher, of 
New Haven, and introduced him as one who had found 
his wife in one of Newtown's old families, and so could 


be at least called a son-in-law of Newtown (he married a 
daughter of Mr. Charles Morehouse) , as one who had 
shown his great interest in the celebration by his substantial 
help. He closed the list of speakers with an address full 
of bright stories and witty sayings. 

The President of the day, after congratulations on the 
successful work done by all the committees and by the 
citizens of the whole town who had risen to the occasion 
with unanimity and enthusiasm, thanked the visitors from 
abroad for their presence and the speakers for their part 
in making the occasion so full of interest, as well as the 
singers who had contributed so much to render it inspiring ; 
and expressed the hope that this bicentennial might be the 
beginning of a more devoted public spirit, of a just pride 
in the town's history, and of that interest in its present 
affairs which should make it one of the model country towns 
of the State, as nature had made it one of the most beautiful. 

The Chorus then led the audience in singing "America," 
and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Arthur T. 
Parsons, of Thomaston, a native of the town. 

Chairman of the Historical Committee. 


Under the direction of the committee of which Mr. D. G. 
Beers was chairman, there had been arranged in the main 
building on the grounds a representation of the domestic 
life of the old inhabitants in the form of two rooms, 
furnished with heirlooms of the old families. 

The "best room" was furnished under the direction of 
Mrs. George F. Taylor, and mostly with articles inherited 
from her mother's mother, who was a Tomlinson. Among 
these was an old piano, and a mirror. There was also an 
old calash, and a cloak with an interesting history. It was 
made of wool from sheep raised on her great grandfather's 
farm, and the cloth was spun, woven and made on the farm. 
There was also an old clock furnished by Mr. Nettleton, and 
a chair, the property of Trinity parish, which was brought 
from England by the Rev. John Beach in 1732, when he 
returned from that country after his ordination. 

The kitchen was arranged under the direction of Mrs. 
S. Grace Glover, with the assistance of the other members 
of the committee. It had the old fashioned fire-place, with 
the crane, pots and oven, iron fire dogs, and all the other 
paraphernalia. There was a flint lock musket and powder 
horn, an old spinning wheel, reel and swift, and the room 
was adorned with strings of pepper and dried apples. 
There was also a cradle belonging in the family of Mr. 
Theron Platt, and many other relics of interest, and the 
exhibit was visited by a large number during the noon 
intermission and throughout the day. 

At the conclusion of the exercises on the Fair grounds, 
a large part of the vast throng left the place to return to 


their respective homes. An immense number came from 
neighboring towns in carriages and automobiles, and the 
Consolidated Railroad Company furnished special trains 
which accommodated the hundreds which came from a 

The sunset gun closed the day but opened another feature 
of the celebration. A crowd of 3000 remained to 


The concert began at eight o'clock. The Woodbury band 
was stationed south of the liberty pole and rendered a fine 
musical programme. A splendid display of fireworks was 
shown between the numbers rendered by the band. These 
were in charge of Mr. Herbert Flansburg and his assistants 
on the committee. The exhibition closed with a magnificent 
set piece, the gift of Dr. W. C. Wile. The piece represented 
two Indian heads with the figures 1705 between, and was a 
brilliant close to a most successful day. 

After the fireworks and concert an additional train was 
run by the railroad company to Bridgeport for those who 
could not remain over Sunday. Besides arranging for these 
special trains, Vice President Todd, who has his summer 
home among us and had shown his interest by a generous 
contribution, added in other ways to the comfort of the 
people and their sense of security by sending to the town to 
be present during the celebration, the chief of the secret 
service force of the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R. Co., Mr. James 
F. Valley, and several assistants. These served to keep 
away from the town all crooks and evil characters. No 
fakirs were allowed upon the grounds, and nothing was 
lost or stolen. There was no need to keep order, for all 

Chairman of the Fireworks Committee. 

were present for a good and neighborly purpose, all had a 
genuine interest in making the day a credit to the town, and 
what is more remarkable in such a large multitude, there 
was no accident to mar the pleasure of those gathered 
together. With her children old and young assembled 
from all parts within her borders, with her many other sons 
and daughters returning home, with distinguished guests 
and many neighbors to rejoice with her, and with a kind 
Providence to bless with sunny skies and avert all untoward 
injury, the old town had probably the greatest day of the 
two hundred years of her history. 

Coming as the anniversary did upon Saturday, with many 
who would remain to spend Sunday, it was planned to make 
that day one of special observance in the churches by 
appropriate services and historical sermons. The day was 
thus observed in the two oldest parishes, and therefore it 
was thought well to include in this story of the Bicentennial 
an account of the exercises of that day. 




It was part of the programme of the Executive Committee 
that on the day following the celebration of the Bicentennial 
there should be in the various churches in the town such 
services and sermons or addresses as should seem best to 
those who had charge of them. The several houses of 
worship that day had large congregations composed of the 
regular attendants and many who had come to attend the 
celebration. It was a welcome opportunity to renew sacred 

In the Congregational Church the services recognized the 
occasion and the Rev. Mr. Barker, the pastor, preached a 
sermon on "The New England Leaven." 







Text MATT. 13 : 33 : "Another parable spake He unto them, The 
kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid 
in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened." 

What is all this for ? Why, for these last few days, have 
we been indulging in decoration, oratory and noise? Have 
we for one moment stopped to consider that this splendid 
celebration would mean really nothing apart from our 
national life? We cannot pack away a little fragment of 
this great country and label with some local names and 
insignia and then proudly say, "This is ours." The great 
stream of our national life may run into tiny eddies and 
miniature bays, but the strong, swirling current rolls majesti- 
cally on. We are only a part of a mighty whole. We 
can only have a celebration like this because we have some- 
thing to celebrate; and that something is not a date so 
much as it is great events and wonderful destinies, and noble 
women and grand men. 

It is said that millions of our human race have been cursed 
by their ancestry. Their sires lived under a despotic 
government where they were made to serve an iron will. 
The later generations feel the poison in the blood; they 
come into the world all back head and no forehead. Not 
so with us. We have come of a godly and goodly line. 


Shall these children know from these anniversary exercises 
from what worthy stock they are sprung? Shall they 
appreciate what it means to be the logical and spiritual heirs 
of their Puritan forefathers? That is the question which 
deeply concerns us to-day. Charles Sumner, the great 
statesman, when speaking at a New England dinner in 
1873, said, as he looked toward Henry Ward Beecher, sit- 
ting near him: "I have often thought that if it had been 
my privilege to preach the Gospel and to fill a pulpit as 
grandly as you have done yours, I would sometime take the 
text, 'A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump'; and speak 
of the great influence of the Puritans in the history of our 
land." You see I have not followed even this suggestion, 
coming from so august a man, because when Paul uses 
these words he uses them to signify the leavening power 
of evil ; but no influence in our nation's history is stronger 
for good than that of the noble band who planted firmly 
their feet on Plymouth Rock on one wintry day. 

A great problem confronts us as a nation just now. It 
is this : Shall we be able to stem the flow of immigration 
that is now so strongly setting toward these shores? Shall 
we be able to receive it into our nation's life, and assimi- 
late it, and Americanize it, and uplift it from the plane of the 
sty? This tide in the last fiscal year reached high- water 
mark ; more than a milllion souls floated here with the flot- 
sam and jetsam of the waters. Representatives of one, or 
at most two, nationalities gathered around the camp fires 
of the Pilgrims ; representatives of a score or more national- 
ities assemble about the camp fire of the California miners 
or stroll through the streets of our western towns. A score 
of men, Dr. Strong tells us, are found working in a factory 
in New York City, who are come here directly from Haran, 
the ancient land out of which the progenitor of the Jewish 
race was called. The stream of the nation's life, in its 
flowing, has been sadly contaminated since the Mayflower 


days. That is sure. Is the current which these worthy 
men of 1621 set moving yet so strong that it will overpower 
all counter currents that seek to impede its course? The 
characteristics of the Puritan are strong, impressing 
and enduring. Will they endure through all the years? 
"Histories make us wise," says Bacon. "A moral and 
philosophical respect for our ancestors elevates the charac- 
ter and refines the heart," says Webster; and no one can 
look even briefly into the history which this day brings to 
our view without being made more of a man, a nobler 
patriot, and taking a larger grasp on the work which this 
nation has been ordained of God to do. 

What, then, are the characteristics of our Puritan sires, 
those things which have acted as leaven in the nation's life? 
A striking characteristic is this : Our Puritan forefathers 
had a sublime faith in God. I put the emphasis upon the 
adjective, for there is much faith in God which scarcely 
means any faith at all. The Puritans gave large place to 
God. They read His majesty in the clouds ; His power in 
the storm. For them He rode upon the wings of the wind 
and trailed the shining garments of His glory in the sun- 
bursts of the early dawn. They emphasized His presence 
with them. He went forth to battle with their armies. He 
was with them in the ploughing of the fields, in the harvest- 
ing of the grain, in the keeping of the humble Puritan home. 
In these days, when faith seems slipping from her moorings, 
it is well that we get back to the foundation faith of our 

They believed in God. It is said that they believed in the 
God of the Old Testament rather than in the God of the 
New. In the literature of those days the Puritan was 
caricatured. He was ridiculed as a sallow-cheeked, bigoted, 
narrow-minded man. The epitaph that might have been 
written on his tombstone would have read thus: Born in 
discouragement, he grew up in dejection, matured in depres- 


sion and died in disgust. We must not harshly criticise 
any one before we recognize the fact that every one is a 
product of the times in which he lives and of the conditions 
out of which he comes. The Puritan, before he set his 
foot on Plymouth Rock, had just thrown off the tyranny 
of prelate, Church and State. He had swung far away 
from all earthly sovereignty, and as always happens in such 
cases, he swung to the other extreme of the pedulum and 
found himself emphasizing alone the sovereignty of God. 
No wonder he believed in the God of the old Testament, 
the God who thundered his mandates from Sinai and 
overcame the prophets of Baal with the descent of flame. 
In this soft age, when it is often inquired whether it really 
makes any difference in what a man believes, it is well to go 
back to those who solidly believed in a God of law. I do 
not think that the theology of the Pilgrim rang out no musi- 
cal tone of love, or that amid the smoke of the flaming mount 
the cry was lost that rose from bitter Calvary. 

Those who sought on these shores "a faith's pure shine" 
came here as the growth of two hundred years of changes 
that were wrought on European soil. There had been the 
movement called the Renaissance, springing out of the 
invention of the printing-press, and there had been the move- 
ment called the Reformation, the product of the translation 
of the Bible into the speech of the common people. These 
two lines of life converging upon the Puritan developed 
a growth that could not flourish in a fetid atmosphere. A 
new land was necessary where the tree of civil and religious 
liberty could flourish and throw out its spreading shade, 
and that land was here ; and here it took form in what has 
ever been known as the New England conscience. Do you 
ask me by what phrases I would characterize the Puritan 
ideals? They are these: The Puritan believed in the stern 
righteousness of a just God. He believed in convictions 
of duty from which he would not swerve a hair's breadth; 


he believed in the overrule of God in all things, making 
good and bad, devil and saint, bend to His sovereign will; 
he had a vision which gave him glimpses into the unseen 
and opened up the bourne beyond the corridors of Time ; 
he was an optimist who never let go his hope that the worst 
would swing round at last to that which works for the best. 
He held tenaciously to the ultimate triumph of the right. 
I have already said much about our Puritan forefathers ; 
you might almost suspect that I had never heard that there 
were Puritan foremothers, too. The fathers have been 
feted and praised too much, and not half so much has been 
said as is their due for their wives, their better halves. It 
was the mother who when she was placed where there was 
no sound of the Sabbath bell gathered her children about 
her and taught them the Westminster catechism. She made 
the old Psalms of David ring as the war songs of old. She 
read the Old Testament stories to the troop at her knee 
until those worthies came out of the past and lived before 
the eye. There was Elijah, who with his mantle smote 
the waters back; there was Moses, whose face shone as he 
talked with God; there was David, who charmed the hard 
Saul with the music of his harp ; there was Samuel, who was 
left in the temple as a child ; there was Hezekiah, the good 
king, to satisfy whose wish the shadow went back on the 
dial, and all these famous men became as familiar to the 
Puritan child as the playmates with whom he sported before 
his mother's door. You cannot understand what the Puri- 
tan has done for our national life until you understand 
the part that religion played in their common life. The 
meeting-house was next to their home, or even above their 
home. The Sabbath was as binding in its obligations as 
the laws on the tables of stone, for it was in these laws. The 
Bible was their vade me cum, the compass by which they 
sailed their craft and the lantern by which they guided 
their way. 


All through our country's history the line of their 
influence runs clearly down. We see it in the struggle of 
''76, when in the darkest days at Valley Forge, Washington 
was seen at midnight on his knees in prayer. We see it 
when our Continental Congress opened as Benjamin Frank- 
lin, almost the last of the great men of the early days to 
recognize God's control in human affairs, advocated seeking 
the blessing of God. We see it in our great Declaration 
of Independence, which reads : "And for the support of this 
declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine 
Providence, we pledge ourselves, our lives and our sacred 
honor." May the leaven of their trust in God go on with 
us as a perennial force to the end of our days. A striking 
characteristic, too, of the Puritan was that he could endure. 
I tell you this soft age in which we live has much to learn 
from the age of homespun. Our plainest comforts were 
their most extravagant luxuries. Do you think that it was 
a small thing for them to decide to leave their own land? 
If it had been to an Eden they were coming the case would 
have been different ; but how inhospitable were these shores ! 
They were striking out anew ; they were burning every 
bridge behind them ; they were starting entirely new desti- 
nies on altogether untried lines. And here again the praise 
that is due the Puritan mother has not been paid. Tell me, 
was the voyage across the waters any less perilous for the 
one whose breast stirred with deep thoughts as her stern 
lord coldly looked at the sky? The fifty-six signers of the 
Declaration of Independence well knew what they were 
taking upon- them ; they knew that liberty must win or they 
must die. One of their number hit the point when he said : 
"And now we must all hang together, or else we shall all 
hang separately." But did one of those fifty-six give his life 
for his convictions? Not one. They all died peacefully. 
How many of that Pilgrim band, tell me, perished during 
that first bitter winter? Overcome by struggles and 


weakened by privation, for half the number the driven 
snow became their winding-sheet and the winds howling 
through the naked pines sang their funeral dirge; and, as 
it always is, the suffering came harder upon the women than 
upon the men. It was not so much the wild beasts of the 
forest that howled about the door; it was not so much the 
Indian, who often proved terrible, treacherous, and cruel ; 
it was not so much these things that made the heart sick 
and made life in the pioneer wilderness a prolonged round 
of heroic endurance, as the utter loneliness and exile of 
those who had left the best in life across the stretch of waves. 
The stars of the winter's night looked down upon them, but 
they were so cold and far away. The winds of the forest 
murmured low whisperings about their dwellings, but they 
were so gloomy and chill. The waves of the tossing sea 
talked in hoarse cadence as they listened, but they gave forth 
no syllable of love and echoed no sympathetic tone. Our 
luxuries have brought us into effeminacy and love of ease ; 
we delight in soft things ; we do not dare to mount the 
steeps. We wish the way marked clearly out before us. 
If this age is to leave an impress upon all times such as the 
Puritan has done, if it is to take the strong characteristics 
of those days and hold them steady and true in the swirl 
of currents setting all the other way, we must get back to the 
grit that brooked no obstacle, and to the pluck that carried 
victory in the very doing. 

The characteristic, however, which, above all others, 
strikes us as belonging to this pioneer age is the love of 
home. The Puritans were home-makers and empire- 
founders. God first made woman because it was found 
that man could not get along without her, and woman only 
reaches her completeness when the union of the strong and 
the gentle qualities is made in the establishment of a home. 
No nation has ever yet endured which has neglected this 
God-given institution ; and this nation has so far led in the 


march of Time because its foundation pillars were three- 
fold, the church, the schoolhouse and the home. 

Did you ever study into the history of our two leading 
colonies, the one founded at Jamestown and the other on 
Plymouth Bay? The Virginia colony came within one of 
being an utter failure. Did you ever look into the reason 
why? The Jamestown colony left out the thought home. 
It was one hundred and two old bachelors who came over 
here and settled upon the river James, and had it not been 
for Pocahontas the beautiful Indian maiden, who is said 
to have saved the colony by supplying them with provisions, 
and had it not been that twelve years after they landed here 
their mistake was discovered and one hundred beautiful 
young women were sent over from England to make wives 
for these colonists, the whole settlement would have gone 
down in total collapse. A whole colony of bachelors ! 
What on earth can you do with them ? It is bad enough to 
have one or two scattered throughout an entire community, 
but when it comes to a whole colony of them, \vhat then? 
Of course you tell me that some of the greatest and best 
men whom this country has ever known came in the line of 
that colony in the Old Dominion. There were Patrick 
Henry, the fiery orator of the Revolution, George Washing- 
ton, the Father of his country, and Thomas Jefferson, the 
penman of the immortal Declaration, and James Madison, 
who wrote our nation's constitution; all this is true, but 
still I say without fear of contradiction, that had it not been 
for this voyage of England's one hundred fair women to 
these shores, the history of this part of our nation, at least, 
would have taken quite another turn. In the passenger list 
of the Mayflower there were nineteen wives and seven 
daughters, the foremothers of so many of these homes which 
have blessed the Xew England vales and made this little 
corner of God's footstool great. It is a beautiful tradition 
which has been handed down to us that the first one to set 

foot upon stern old Plymouth Rock was the first maiden, 
Mary Chillion, and the last one of the Plymouth band to 
survive was Mary Allerton, living to see twelve out of the 
thirteen colonies established which became the nucleus of 
this great nation. 

Would you like to know a little more about some of these 
sturdy women of those early days who were true home- 
makers and who, by strength of mind and muscle, were 
noble helpmeets to their stalwart sires? There was Miss 
Elizabeth Zane, who ran the gauntlet of the Indians' fire 
in order to secure a keg of powder, and by nerve and hero- 
ism saved the whole settlement from massacre. There was 
Mrs. Hendree, of Royalton, Vt., who rescued fifteen cap- 
tured children from the Indians at the risk of her own life. 
There was Hannah Duston, who dispatched with a toma- 
hawk a whole camp of Indians and secured her own safety. 
This heroic deed, as recorded by Bancroft, is perhaps the 
most thrilling of all tales found in Indian lore; and the 
citizens of Concord, N. H., have erected a monument on 
the spot where the deed was performed, that the memory 
of such a brave woman might not be left to die. There was 
Mrs. Sarah Knight, daughter of Captain Kemble, who was 
equal to the all-round woman of to-day in doing well the 
duties of business and the home. This Captain Kemble, 
by the way, obtained quite a reputation in his day. He had 
returned from a three years' voyage and was seen kissing 
his wife on the doorstep of his home on a Sabbath after- 
noon, and for this "flagrant misdemeanor" he was con- 
demned to sit for two hours on Boston Common with his feet 
fast in the public stocks. His daughter, Mrs. Sarah Knight, 
was proficient in all housewifely cares. She was a good 
soap-maker, sugar-maker, butter-maker, clothes-maker, 
bread-maker, cloth-maker, and broom-maker. We know 
from her diary (for she kept one with minute care) that 
she owned and superintended a flour and gristmill, ran a 

1 62 

tavern, taught school, rode on horseback from Boston to 
New York and back again on business errands, and specu- 
lated a little in Indian lands. Do you think now that the 
sphere of our foremothers was contracted and narrow, and 
that they knew scarcely anything of life beyond the bounds 
of their dahlia beds? The Puritan maiden was in many 
respects a striking and fascinating figure. Who would not 
have looked twice at such quaint personalities as Deborah 
and Mehitable Nash, robed in bear skins? The pretty 
Puritan maiden, too, Priscilla Mullens, sitting at her spinning 
wheel, had enough of romance in her to suggest to Longfel- 
low his most beautiful poem on Courtship. These Puritan 
foremothers of ours were real home-makers. They kept a 
home, a home, I say, not a flat where you stay for a while 
in a sleeping car, nor a four-story affair, where at different 
portions of the day you are on different rounds of the ladder. 
Our good Puritan foremothers were the loved heads of the 
home. They were not creatures of fads, the star patients 
of the physician. They did not spend so much time at the 
club that their children once in a while wished to get 
acquainted with them. They did not think that the chief 
aim in living was to pose before a mirror or illustrate the 
latest mode. They were mothers, perhaps we ought to 
place some emphasis there; they were mothers of many 
vigorous sons and blooming daughters. They had large 
families. I do not think that they spent a great deal of 
time in discussing the problem of race suicide. I have said 
that our Puritan sires have been feted and dined over-much ; 
it is high time that the era of the foremothers was due. 
Here is a point where we should strike the loud cymbals in 
the praise of the home-makers of that day ; they got along 
with their crank}' old sires. They brought two bears into 
the home, and without these bears a good deal of growling 
w r ill go on. These mothers learned how to compromise, 
how to yield and yet pretty well to have their own way. 

-i6 3 - 

They governed their children, not by breaking their will, 
but by making their will act in loyal harmony with the 
other faculties. Yes, one who could do this and at the same 
time live peacefully with good old Roger Williams, who 
was conscientiously cranky and consistently out-of-sorts, 
deserves a bright crown in Heaven; and these mothers are 
wearing their crowns now over there. 

How much does this great nation owe to these Puritan 
homes? Can you measure their influence in our history by 
weights and scales? Can you set over their value as pro- 
portionate to so much timber-land or navigable rivers or 
great watersheds or railroad systems? Here are some of 
the families which have shaped our nation's destiny and 
guided its career; will you put down in mathematical 
calculation how much they are worth: the Otis family, the 
Hancock family, the Adams family, the Jefferson family, 
the Washington family, the Budinot family. John Quincy 
Adams tells us in his diary that when he first realized that 
he bore the name of Quincy, a name that his mother had 
given to him, he felt a great call to splendid achievement. 
My dear friends, that is the meaning of this anniversary 
occasion; you greatly mistake if you listen only to its din 
and noise. Back of all our parading, back of all our pyro- 
technics, back of all our addresses, is this clarion call : Live 
up to the best that was in your sires. This is no place or 
time for criticising or finding fault. Our New England 
forebears had their defects and shortcomings; but this is 
not the occasion to thrust in our bodkin and pick out the 
false thread. You remember what an influence the elder 
Pliny had in the best d?.ys of Rome ; his letters send forth 
an aroma of sweetness that is really refreshing in the midst 
of so much that is uncanny and foul. He writes (and I 
think it is beautiful) of his wife: "She loved that which 
was immortal in me." Let us take that which was bravest 
and truest and noblest in the lives of those who have gone 

-i6 4 - 

before and hold it up to-day for emulation and desire. 
Miriam,, in the history of Israel, did her people a service in 
striking the cymbals in praise of high deeds. Strike the 
cymbals to-day in praise of the home. Strike the cym- 
bals to-day in honor of patient endurance of hardship and 
pain. Throw aside criticism, seek earnestly for something 
worthy -to copy, and honor your God. 



Sunday, August sixth, being the Feast of the Trans- 
figuration, the Collect, Epistle and Gospel for that day were 
used in the celebration of the Holy Communion. The 
Morning Prayer was modified to meet the occasion, Psalms 
80 and 90 being used instead of those appointed for the 
day ; the lessons, Deuteronomy 8, and 2 Corinthians 3. 
The Processional hymn was number 468, "From all 
that dwell below the skies," to Old Hundredth : the introit, 
hymn 196, "Our fathers' God, to Thee," to America; the 
hymn before sermon, number 418, "O God, our help in 
ages past," to St. Anne; hymn 231, "My God, and is Thy 
table spread," to Federal Street, being sung at the Com- 
munion. The Rev. J. Francis George read Morning 
Prayer and Rev. Frederick Foote Johnson celebrated the 
Holy Communion. The sermon was preached by the Rec- 
tor, Rev. James H. George, from Psalm 80, verses 8 and 
9, the subject, "The Transplanted Vine." 




PSALM 80; 8 and 9: Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt; 
thou hast cast out the heathen and planted it. Thou preparedst 
room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the 

It is most fitting at a time when we are celebrating the 
two-hundredth anniversary of a new order of things in this 
town, when the land, which before that day had been 
the hunting ground of the Indian, was to become the 
property of a civilized race and to be cultivated ; when we 
are thinking of the changes which time has made in the 
external conditions of the country, that we should study 
the religious history of the community; and especially, as 
we are gathered in our parish church, that we should review 
the history of our own communion in this town in the past 
two hundred years. 

In doing so I trust that I shall not be led into saying 
aught that would wound the feelings of any of our neigh- 
bors and friends. Thank God, the bitterness and rancour 
which in portions of that period characterized religious 
controversy have passed away, as a broader conception of 
religious truth has brought men more closely together. 

It is a law of the spiritual nature that it must make its 
own growth from within. External circumstances which 
may cramp it will inevitably result in serious consequences. 

-i6 7 - 

The inborn freedom of our nature rebels against restriction. 
Moreover, our sense of the value of liberty makes us ready 
to take the part of the oppressed, though we may have little 
sympathy for the cause in which they suffer. If the soul 
may lie open and respond to God's truth, and take the 
form which God gives it and have its normal growth, the 
divinely appointed result will follow. 

In the history of the Anglo-Saxon race we find a certain 
character and religious ideal. It may under certain 
circumstances and restrictions be stunted, made one-sided, 
dwarfed, or abnormally developed. It seeks a certain 
roundness and proportion, which if denied it, it will rebel. 
There is a type to which it would revert under favorable 
circumstances, towards which it is constantly pressing. If 
we bear this fact in mind, we shall have a key to the history 
of religion in this community. 

The words of the Psalmist, of which the motto and court 
of arms of our State are an application, represent the 
transplanted vine, and assure us of God's protection from 
external danger. Not less do they assure us of His law 
within our nature which will seek its normal growth and 
generous fruits. Whatever may have been the circum- 
stances which have made it one-sided, or dwarfed some 
essential character, it will revert to its type. 

Two hundred years ago there was not a place of worship 
or a minister of our Church in the Colony of Connecticut. 
The reason of this is not far to seek. Religious intolerance, 
which was a characteristic of the time, had driven the early 
settlers of New England from the mother country to seek 
the practice of their own faith in this land. They came 
here for freedom to worship God ; but it was for freedom to 
worship God in their own way, not for a general freedom 
for all to worship God in the way in which it should seem 
best to each. Consequently they did not permit others the 
freedom which had been denied them. 


But there was in the make-up of the race a sense of fair 
play, which doubtless brought into the company of the 
leaders of the Puritan movement many who did not sympa- 
thize with all their religious views, though feeling that they 
were entitled to hold them. There was also in them that 
type of spiritual character which belongs to the race, and 
which has constantly pressed forward to be realized, that 
roundness and balance which has made it so strong in every 
department of life and given it the leading place in the 
world. There is in the race that blending of loyalty to order 
and authority with that insisting upon personal freedom 
which has shown itself in its political history. It is the race 
which has wrought freedom under law, and produced the 
Constitution of the United States, the most perfect model 
of all political institutions, because it combines a strong 
central with a free local government. 

In the realm of religion it has settled upon the model of 
the Primitive Church, which recognizes a divine authority 
in its order, creed, and worship, with the sense of the 
personal responsibility of the individual soul and its freedom 
of approach to God. It is not satisfied with either of these 
lacking ; so that we see in the religious history of the 
race these two tendencies, the one to value the divine 
authority and ordinances of the Church, whereby it has 
sometimes been led to suppress personal freedom and 
ignore the access of the soul to God; the other to 
go to the extreme of denying any outside authority what- 
soever, whereby not only the order of the Church and the 
Christian creed, but also the Scriptures, have been regarded 
as useless, and the claim made that the soul is its own guide 
in searching for truth, and its feelings the only test of 
righteousness. Circumstances have caused the one or the 
other of these two forces at different times to prevail ; but 
where one has been suppressed it has generally resulted in 
strong reaction in its favor. The blending of these two 


tendencies in the normal specimens of the race, and their 
due recognition, has satisfied its spiritual wants. It was 
the existence of these two cravings in the spiritual nature 
of the settlers of New England which caused the rise and 
growth of the Church in a region where she had been hated. 

For the Church in this Colony was no exotic. It was not 
the result of a propaganda from outside; but it was the 
natural returning of some of the noblest and best minds 
in the Colony to that normal spiritual condition which could 
alone satisfy them. When Cutler, the President of Yale 
College, and his associates declared for the Church and went 
to England for ordination, they reached that point because 
they had outgrown the one-sided teaching of Calvinism and 
felt the lack of a sense of divine authority in its ministry. 

Our religious bent, as did our civilization, came from 
Stratford, and the seeds of both were in the early settlers. 

It was in this very year 1705, and in the very month, 
July, Old Style, that Rev. George Muirson, the missionary 
of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sent to 
Rye, in the neighboring province, landed in New York. 
About this time a request was sent from certain members 
of the Church of England in Stratford to the Rector of 
Trinity Church, New York, asking him to visit them. He, 
by reason of the distance from his home, referred the matter 
to Mr. Muirson. 

Mr. Muirson had in Colonel Caleb Heathcote, one of his 
parishioners, a devoted adherent of the Church and anxious 
to do what he could for it in Connecticut. With this faith- 
ful and influential layman he visited Stratford in the summer 
of the following year and on September second held the 
first service of the Church in this Colony. 

In 1694 the Rev, Messrs. Keith and Talbot had visited 
the Colony and spent a Sunday at New London. They were 
hospitably received by Mr. Saltonstall, the minister of the 


town, and at his request preached for him that day. But 
it is not likely that the Prayer Book service was used. 

On this occasion Mr. Muirson preached to a very numer- 
ous congregation morning and evening, and baptized twenty- 
four persons. He found a number well inclined to the 
Church, and with its presentation, others were drawn to it, 
so that through his occasional visits a parish was formed in 
April 1707. A man of prudence, modesty, and ability, he 
did a good work, and in spite of opposition, extending 
even to legal notice from the town authorities to refrain 
from officiating, there was created such an interest in the 
Church that the Congregational minister himself was 
favorably disposed towards it, and thought of applying for 
holy orders. But his good-will cost him opposition and 
final loss of his place. 

To meet the growing tendency towards the Church, the 
Independents called the Rev. Timothy Cutler from Boston, 
a man of culture and high standing, and one of the best 
preachers in the two colonies ; and the death of Mr. Muirson 
in 1708 left the Church people to occasional ministrations. 
But the leaven was at work, the need in the spiritual nature 
of the community and the race was too deep-seated to die 
out. Cutler himself became uneasy under the old doctrine 
and order, and though he served the community well for 
ten years, and was then made Rector, or President, of the 
College in New Haven, he ultimately came into the Church. 

It was not until 1722 that the Stratford parish had its 
first resident minister in the person of Rev. George Pigott, 
sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 
and under his faithful ministry the Church in Stratford 

It was during these years, from the first visit of Mr. 
Muirson, that our own town began to be settled, and the men 
who came here represented the town from which they came. 
On the one hand was the established order and the old 

Calvinism. On the other the reaction from the old doctrine 
and a leaning to the Church's ways. It was not the fault 
of Mr. Toucey, the first minister of this town, that there was 
dissatisfaction and division. It was because of this division 
brought from the mother town and the general feeling of 
unrest in the Colony. Nor was there trouble because there 
were professors of the Church of England who made 
division. A large and growing number of the people were 
inclined to receive Mr. Pigott's services. He officiated 
here six times during his first year, and reported to the 
Society that all the adherents of the Church in Newtown 
had conformed from conviction, none being by inheritance 
of the Church of England. Of these there were twelve 
heads of families who petitioned the Society for a minister 
of their own. The defection to the Church in 1722 of the 
President of Yale College and his companions gave it a 
standing and influence before this impossible to be obtained. 
About this time Mr. Pigott was transferred to Rhode 
Island, and the Rev. Samuel Johnson, one of Cutler's 
companions, was sent after his ordination in England to 
Stratford. He served a long and faithful ministry, officiat- 
ing in Newtown and other places, and was finally chosen 
to be the first President of King's, now Columbia, College, 
in New York. 

The history of the Church in Newtown is now for fifty 
years bound up with the life of one man, John Beach, him- 
self an example of this tendency and characteristic of our 
race which forms the subject of my sermon. A native 
of Stratford, of old Puritan stock, imbibing its love of 
liberty with his mother's milk, and held by all the sacred 
traditions of that movement, he grew up in the atmosphere 
of the town where the new movement was going on. 
Cutler was his pastor and friend, and persuaded his 
parents to give him a college education. It was under 
him and Johnson, who was a tutor of the college, that 


he studied. Their influence on his life both before and 
after their conformity to the Church was deep, but he held 
the old way, and graduating in 1721, he studied for the 
ministry of the standing order. 

It was this very popular and ingenuous young man who 
was called to fill the place of Mr. Toucey in Newtown, and 
to reconcile all differences. The choice proved a happy one ; 
for he not only healed all differences among the adherents 
of the old way ; but he reconciled to his ministry those who 
could not sit easy under the old doctrine. The movement 
towards the Church of England was stopped, and although 
there were five families who continued to receive the 
ministrations of Mr. Johnson, the larger number of those 
attached to the Church of England and those leaning that 
way were satisfied with him, for he preached the simple 

But the growth in him had begun, and those familiar with 
the Prayer Book recognized that much of his prayers were 
in the words and all in the spirit of the liturgy. At last 
the natural bent of his mind and diligent study brought 
him to the conviction that his place was in the ministry of 
the Church, and in 1732 he conformed and on Easter day 
was received into the communion of the Church by Dr. 
Johnson in Christ Church, Stratford. 

Going soon to England he was ordained, and returning 
in September took up his work in the town where he had 
already spent eight years of a fruitful ministry. His first 
service was held under a large sycamore tree at the foot 
of the village street where the Bethel road crosses the 
turnpike, no public place being open to him. 

That a man of his sensitive nature should have felt deeply 
grieved at the coldness of former friends is not strange; 
nor is it strange that they should thus have treated him. 
Old prejudices were still alive and were not to be changed 
by one man in a short time, however honest and sincere he 


may have been known to be. That he should have met 
opposition and misrepresentation and abuse from the more 
violent partisans was what might have been expected. 

But he took up his work in the old spirit. He knew the 
people and loved them. He knew their prejudices and had 
shared them. There was no wish in him but to do them 
good. He was led into controversy by attacks upon the 
Church, but this was mostly from those without the town. 
He lived in peace with his neighbors and ere long his work 
began to tell. Beginning with the five Church families 
to whom he ministered in his own house, his congregation 
grew. Each communion, which he celebrated twice every 
month, saw new members added to his flock. Sometimes 
several families came at one time to his ministry. One of 
his parishioners losing her Prayer Book on her way from 
service, it was picked up by a neighbor, who pronounced 
it a mass book. Others eager to see what it was like found 
it to contain a large part of Holy Scripture and such prayers 
as Mr. Beach had used in his former ministry, and to 
breathe a wholesome religious spirit. As a result eight 
families were added, bringing the number of the flock to 
seventy souls. 

The need of a church building now became imperative, 
and a small wooden structure twenty-eight by twenty- four 
feet was erected. The frame was raised on Saturday, the roof- 
boards were nailed on, and on Sunday the service was held 
under its scant shelter, the worshipers sitting upon the tim- 
bers and kneeling upon the ground. It stood on the com- 
mon a few rods from the lower end of the Street. This 
building served the congregation until 1746. 

The growing influence of the Church in the town is shown 
in various acts of the town, among which is one passed in 
1743. Mr. Beach had, when he conformed to the Church 
of England, surrendered all the grant of land which was 
given him at his settlement, excepting his home lot, which 


was freely granted him in recognition of his past services. 
The town now gave him from the land set apart for the 
support of the ministry the proportion which would come 
from the adherents of the Church, an act as much to the 
credit of the town as his first surrender of land was to him. 

The great revival which swept over the country under 
Whitfield threatened to injure the Church, but the excesses 
to which it led drove a yet larger number of the more sober 
people to its worship. It is interesting to note that follow- 
ing upon this great awakening the size of the congregation 
necessitated the erection of a new and larger church, "a 
strong neat building, forty-six by thirty-five feet." This 
was situated in the Street opposite the present ''Brick 
Building," so-called. The Church continued to prosper, 
and by the time of the Revolution its adherents numbered 
one half of the population of the town. 

In the troubles with the mother country the sympathy 
of the Church people of the town was with the Colonies, 
and their minister, with his clerical brethren, did all in their 
power to influence the English government to redress the 
grievances of the Colonies ; but Mr. Beach had at his 
ordination taken a solemn oath of allegiance to the Crown 
from which he felt that he could not absolve himself, and a 
majority of his people, as of the inhabitants of the town, 
were of the same mind. But there was no factious or 
seditious opposition to the colonial government, or refusal 
to give it support of men or money. Mr. Beach went 
quietly about his work as he had done in the past, preach- 
ing the Gospel and ministering to the spiritual needs of the 
people, and within his cure was the only place where the 
prayer for the King was heard within the lines of the 
colonial government. Like other clergymen he might have 
fled to the loyalist lines or gone to other lands ; but his duty 
lay here. The threats against his life and the attempts to 


silence him were vain. If these came from individuals in 
the community, they did not represent it. 

Mr. Beach passed to his rest at the close of the Revolu- 
tion and in the fiftieth year of his rectorship. More than 
any other one man he left his impress upon the people of the 
town, and his influence is abiding. 

In spite of the general unpopularity of the Church in the 
New England Colonies, as being indemnified with the English 
government, it seems to have had no ill effect upon this 
parish. At its close a new and larger church, sixty-eight by 
forty-eight feet, was built on land just north of the present 
edifice and was consecrated by Bishop Seabury in 1794, 
and served its people down to the present generation. But 
the old church had a special honor before giving way to 
the new. Within its walls, under the rectorship of the Rev. 
Philo Perry, who succeeded Mr. Beach, the Convocation 
of the Bishop and clergy of Connecticut met on the last day 
of September, 1790. The subject for their consideration 
was the changes made in the Prayer Book by the General 
Convention the year before. These changes were such as 
were made necessary by the independence of the Colonies, 
and the change in the Communion Service conforming it 
more nearly to the primitive liturgies, which Bishop Seabury 
pledged the Scottish Bishops who consecrated him to 
endeavor to bring about. The subject had the fullest con- 
sideration, and on the next day, October ist, the Prayer 
Book was ratified and became the rule of worship for the 

Of the subsequent history of the parish it needs not that 
I speak with great particularity. It has been my purpose 
to cite certain facts of the history of the Church in this 
town to illustrate a great truth of our human nature. 

At the close of the Revolution the parish took its place 
as one of the leading parishes of the diocese, and at one time 
the largest ; and the Conventions of the diocese have met 

_i 7 6- 

here from time to time. Its rectors have been men promi- 
nent in the councils of the Church, and as a rule spending 
many years in the midst of a contented people. 

Early in the last century the parish outgrew the limits 
of one clergyman's strength to administer, and in 1830 St. 
James's Church was built in Zoar to serve that part of the 
town. And when it was given up the parish of St. John's, 
Sandy Hook, beginning first as a Sunday School work, and 
then a mission, was made a separate parish in 1870. 

Under the rectorship of Dr. Marble, who for more than 
twenty years went in and out among this people, the new and 
beautiful stone church in which we worship was built, a 
true type of the blessed and lasting influences of his 

For more than half a century now, in the changes which 
have taken place in our civilization whereby the rural dis- 
tricts are deserted for the cities, the parish has suffered 
with the town. But its good work has not failed, and its 
influence on the community has not waned. 

And the reason is that it has held true to the great ideals 
of the race. History moves on, and great changes come in 
civilization, in men's manner of life, and in their thought. 
But their spiritual needs remain the same from generation to 
generation. To meet these needs men must have the same 
old standards of duty to a living God, and love to the breth- 
ren. The due balance of loyalty to authority and freedom 
of conscience are required to-day as two hundred years ago ; 
and it is found in the reverent devotion and order set forth 
in this parish. It is the standard to which men must come 
for rest and peace, and for vitalizing and progressive power. 

We have used the same service this morning that our 
fathers used two hundred years ago. It is the same that our 
children will use in the generations to come. It has served 
under monarchy and republic, under a rude and pioneer 
civilization and under all the changes which wealth and 



progress have made. It cannot wear out, because it is 
true to the nature which God made in his own image. 

With gratitude to Him for his mercies in the past, and 
with a firm faith in his over-ruling providence, let us go on 
to make this church a blessing to the community in which 
it is placed. 

With a hearty good will to all Christian men, with a 
just pride in the devotion and steadfastness of those brave 
men who for conscience sake crossed the ocean and planted 
a religious community in this land, let us hold them in 
undying reverence. It is from such a stock that true 
religion springs ; and from this vine God will cause to come 
the peaceable fruits of righteousness which are, by Jesus 
Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. 


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